Hillary Clinton: American Media Not “Real News”

by Ben Hoffman

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Al Jazeera is gaining more prominence in the U.S. because it offers “real news”–something she said American media were falling far short of doing.

Clinton was speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and she said the U.S. is losing the “information war” in the world. One of the reasons she cited for this was the quality of channels like Al Jazeera.

“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” she said. “You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”

Source

I haven’t watched Al Jazeera so I don’t know how good that is, but she’s dead on about American news. It’s all watered down crap. We get the news that the giant news conglomerates want us to see, not what’s really going on.

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21 Comments to “Hillary Clinton: American Media Not “Real News””

  1. Well said. I couldn’t agree more. She’s right about Al Jazeera. They are a very good alternative source of news, especially about the Middle East, but also about global issues in general.

  2. Aljazeera is mostly pro-Muslim propaganda, more specifically pro-Sunni, pro-Arab propaganda, but only in what they choose to mention vs. keep silent upon and in how they slant they’re reporting.

    They’re a heavily biased news source, but they’re still providing constant streams of – redacted – data whereas US media outlets have all degenerated into pretty much what Clinton described them as.

    It’s a sad day when I’m agreeing with SWMNBN and saying that Aljazeera, for all their bias, is better than what we’ve got at home.

    • Whoa! We agree on something! This has been going on for a long time. The slaughter of hundreds of Panamanians during Bush Sr.’s invasion was never reported. The MSN helped Bush Jr make his case to go to war against Iraq because they didn’t want to appear “unpatriotic.” It’s because they’re owned by giant media conglomerates, thanks to Clinton’s deregulation of the news media back in 1995.

  3. I half agree with Hillary Clinton. American news is completely biased. Fox News provides news with a right wing bias and MSNBC has a left wing bias. In the military we used to refer to CNN as the “Communist News Network” because it would sensationalize events rather than reporting what really happened. For instance, it portrayed Mutada al Sadr’s uprising as a sign that the U.S. was losing ground in Iraq. What really happened is that U.S. forces crushed his militia with a kill ratio of about 30 to 1 (to my knowledge, these figures were never published because of the historical precedent of avoiding body counts since the Vietnam War).

    Fox, MSNBC, and CNN can all be entertaining, but none of them should be a serious source for anyone’s news. I also agree with Secretary Clinton that foreign news sources can be good alternatives because they can sometimes provide views above the fray of American politics. The Economist is my personal favorite for this reason.

    In regards to Al Jazeera, Clinton is right in saying they are winning the information war. However, her assessment that it offers “real news” is way off the mark. Al Jazeera’s news is about as unbiased as Pravda was during the hayday of the Soviet Union. Al Jazeera is winning the information war because it can pretty much say and make up whatever it wants, and the Arab world will believe it.

    • [Al Jazeera is winning the information war because it can pretty much say and make up whatever it wants, and the Arab world will believe it.]

      Do you have any proof that they make stuff up? I’ve never seen it so I don’t know. There’s a lot of proof Fox just makes stuff up — not so much for MSNBC, which doesn’t claim to be a news program.

  4. “Do you have any proof that they make stuff up? I’ve never seen it so I don’t know. There’s a lot of proof Fox just makes stuff up — not so much for MSNBC, which doesn’t claim to be a news program.”

    I don’t have any proof that they make things up, nor can I prove that the Arab world will believe anything they say. However, it seems that Al Jazeera has more influence in that part of the world than any other source (though I cannot proove it). The following link, which provides a fairly favorable view of al Jazeera’s editorial process, does admit that the network has bias (just as Fox and CNN do). See (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2006/06/12/think_again_al_jazeera?page=0,1).

    Regarding whether Fox News and/or MSNBC makes things up, I would agree that all these networks, make mistakes and are biased. When I watch Fox, I feel embarrased as a conservative. When I watch MSNBC, I get upset because they also make things up. One example is that “Bush lied about Iraq’s WMD.”

    Our intelligence was just plain wrong. I was in the military at the time and helped train the 3rd Infantry Division for the assault on Karbala Gap. We were “certain” that any competent military commander would use chemical weapons in this gap because it would maximize American casualties. The U.N. had the same intelligence.

    Since then, the U.N. has never been able to account for where Iraq’s stockpile disappeared to since the early 1990s. One Iraqi Air Force general has speculated that Saddam transfered them to Syria just before the invasion in 2003 under the guise of providing Syria humanitarian assistance when the Orontes river flooded. I have no idea if this is true, but the fact remains that the U.N. had counted an inventory of these weapons in the 90s and that inventory was not found when the U.S. military arrived.

    • [When I watch MSNBC, I get upset because they also make things up. One example is that “Bush lied about Iraq’s WMD.” ]

      He did lie. That has been proven over and over. Even his cabinet has admitted so, although not in so many words.

      [Our intelligence was just plain wrong. I was in the military at the time and helped train the 3rd Infantry Division for the assault on Karbala Gap. We were “certain” that any competent military commander would use chemical weapons in this gap because it would maximize American casualties.]

      First of all, chemical weapons are not the same as WMDs. Second, they got those chemical weapons from the Reagan administration and they also got the helicopters from which to deploy them from the Reagan administration.

  5. “He did lie. That has been proven over and over. Even his cabinet has admitted so, although not in so many words.”

    When he said Iraq had WMDs, the intelligence at the time backed him up. If he lied, he would had to have orchestrated a pretty complex conspiracy that extended throughout the U.S. military and the United Nations. For an administration that could not prevent leaks to the media, it is somewhat difficult to believe that it could have pulled off such a far flung conspiracy.

    He was wrong, he may have seen what he wanted to see, but he did not lie. Serious national security experts on both sides of the aisle have testified to the fact that they all had faulty intelligence. The media just messed up and has repeated the faulty narrative so often that the more one hears it, the more it sounds like the truth. But it is simply not.

    Prove that his advisors admitted he lied.

    “First of all, chemical weapons are not the same as WMDs.”

    This statement is just wrong. Chemical weapons are WMD. Anything that fits into the category of NBC (Nuclear, biological, and chemcial) is synonymous with WMD. All these weapons cause mass casualties. This is simply a fact for which there is general agreement in the security community.

    “Second, they got those chemical weapons from the Reagan administration and they also got the helicopters from which to deploy them from the Reagan administration.”

    I’m not sure about your claim that Reagan provided Iraq with chemical weapons (the French and Germans certainly did though), but I won’t contest your claim about providing conventional weapons to the Iraqis. In fact, I have no problem with it. After all, the Iraqis used these weapons to kill Iranians. Sounds like a win-win to me.

    • [Chemical weapons are WMD. ]

      Nope, you’re lying to defend your party. There was no doubt in anyones mind that they were talking about nuclear weapons. Even Bush admitted they didn’t find any WMDs.

      [In fact, I have no problem with it. After all, the Iraqis used these weapons to kill Iranians. Sounds like a win-win to me.]

      Reagan also armed Iran. Remember the arms for hostages deal? As far as killing anybody, it’s a sick mind that would call that a win-win.

  6. “Nope, you’re lying to defend your party. There was no doubt in anyones mind that they were talking about nuclear weapons. Even Bush admitted they didn’t find any WMDs.”

    You have no idea what you are talking about. You are utterly ignorant on military affairs. Again, WMD include chemcial weapons. Nuclear weapons were the biggest concern, but Bush never said Saddam had them, only that he was trying to acquire them.

    “Reagan also armed Iran. Remember the arms for hostages deal? As far as killing anybody, it’s a sick mind that would call that a win-win.”

    He did arm Iran, which only encouraged more hostage taking. You won’t get any argument from me that this was wrong.

    Iranians have been responsible for killing U.S. troops beginning in 1983 and continuing to today. I make no apologies for wanting to defend my nation against its enemies. You may think I have a sick mind, but without people like me to defend people like you, you would be speaking German or Japanese today.

    • [You may think I have a sick mind, but without people like me to defend people like you, you would be speaking German or Japanese today.]

      Naaa… you would have been one of Hitler’s brownshirts. You’d kill women and children if that’s what you were told to do. And that’s not defending America. That’s helping to destroy America. We haven’t fought a war to defend America since WWII.

      Here’s proof that they lied about biological weapons: Source

      The smoking gun argument: Source

      You’re a liar and you’re a disgrace to our country.

  7. In point of fact – Ben here hates facts – All of Bush’s rhetoric centered on Biochemical weaponry. Nukes weren’t mentioned at all.

    You have to deal with that when you’re on Ben’s blog. He’s incapable of reason or truth, knowing only lies and treason like all the filthy Liberals.

    He’s harmless though. If he ever became a real problem an American would find it easy to exterminate him.

  8. “Naaa… you would have been one of Hitler’s brownshirts. You’d kill women and children if that’s what you were told to do. And that’s not defending America. That’s helping to destroy America. We haven’t fought a war to defend America since WWII.”

    Ah, the old saw. Reductio ad Hitlerium. A sign of desperation and indicator that you have lost the argument.

    “You’re a liar and you’re a disgrace to our country.”

    Nice. More ad hominem. It really strengthens the credibility of your argument. I did not come to your site with the intent to embarrass you in front of your subscribers, but it looks as if I will nonetheless. A pity.

    In regards to your sources. Did you even read them? The first article claims that the intel on mobile biological labs was spotty and the source was suspect. That did not mean it was not true or false. It was simply another data point. Intelligence is a murky business. It is rarely black and white. This is different than deliberately lying to the American people.

    The second source says that there was no smoking gun. Of course there was no smoking gun. There rarely ever is. Bush never claimed that there was a smoking gun.

    Facts are stubborn things, Mr. Hoffman.

    • [This is different than deliberately lying to the American people.]

      Sure it is. They presented the evidence as FACT when it was specious at best. It was by no means enough evidence to go to war — a war that cost over 4,000 American lives, 100s of thousands of Iraqi lives, and a cost of trillions of dollars. THAT is what you contributed to and is by no means an honorable action.

      [Facts are stubborn things, Mr. Hoffman.]

      Yes they are, which is why you don’t use them in your arguments. Your arguments are those of someone loyal to a president and to your party — not a loyal American.

  9. “Sure it is. They presented the evidence as FACT when it was specious at best.”

    Actually, Iraq did have mobile labs. U.S. troops found 11 mobile laboratories buried south of Baghdad in April 2003 that were capable of biological and chemical uses. Of course, they did not discover any chemical or biological weapons in the labs, but the reports had a basis in FACT. The claims were, therefore, not as specious as you imagine. See the link here: http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/14/sprj.irq.labs/

    “THAT is what you contributed to and is by no means an honorable action.”

    On what planet is serving my country dishonorable? Not a loyal American?

    You should take comfort from the following advice from George Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    You should learn to think for yourself rather than parroting whatever you hear on MSNBC and potentially open your mind to other points of view.

    And facts. I’ve done nothing but support my arguments with facts, whilst you rely on ad hominem, the hobgoblin of small minds.

      • “Nope, that story from 2003 has been thoroughly discredited.”

        While the tone of this article suggests what you are saying, its substance does not. According to the article, the CIA and DIA came to the opposite conclusion as the civilian technical team. It seems that even when intelligence officials had the chance to physically inspect these labs, they could not agree what their purpose was.

        Hence the difficulty of intelligence gathering. These things are never as black and white as we would like them to be and sometimes people see what they want to see rather than what is. This is what happened in the Bush administration.

        No one lied. They merely misinterpreted the intelligence.

  10. President Barack Obama on Monday rescinded his two-year-old directive banning military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. In a new executive order, Obama clears the way for resuming military trials at the naval base. This is regrettable, considering the president campaigned on — and committed to, once taking office — closing Guantanamo within a year of his inauguration.

    Well, another “promise” fulfilled.

  11. I agree. 🙂

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