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Author Topic: How much are we lied to?
Zatamon
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posted 24 September 2001 09:02 AM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A few years ago I saw a documentary (I believe it was on 60 minutes but I am not sure) with the title: “To sell a war”. It was about the Gulf War. According to the documentary, Kuwait hired one of the most prominent PR forms in Washington to ‘Sell” the war to the American people. I never forget what I learnt.

Before the Gulf war started, I remember Bush and a number of congressmen saying that the Iraqi soldiers charged into a Kuwaiti hospital and threw the babies out of the incubators. That story was repeated on every media outlet over and over again, day after day, ad nauseum. A congressional hearing actually interviewed a young Kuwaiti woman, who was supposed to be en eye witness nurse in that hospital.

As it turned out: the Kuwaiti hospital never had an incubator and the young “nurse” was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, who wasn’t even in Kuwait at the time.

Anyone who has seen the movie “Wag the Dog” will, no doubt, wonder. This doesn’t mean that I think the whole attack was filmed in a Hollywood Studio, but the media certainly seems to be orchestrated by Dustin Hoffman.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 September 2001 09:12 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just about every serious journalist who covered the Gulf War still feels uncomfortable about it. While it wasn't quite a "phoney war," the only part of it they were allowed to cover at the time was the PR war directed from Washington; more serious reporting on Iraq has only emerged since, and usually from independent reporters and researchers.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
vaudree
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posted 24 September 2001 09:48 AM      Profile for vaudree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only thing you can do is look at multiple sources and look at discrepancies - but that I don`t mean switching between ABC and CBS. Just like with ADHD research, sometimes the pro and con side use the same facts to prove their case. So the second thing is to be aware of how the same fact can be interpreted differently.
From: Just outside St. Boniface | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 24 September 2001 01:00 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To my shame I believed the baby-incubator story back then, and even brought it up at an anti-war meeting.

The buggers learned something from Vietnam. The chief lesson was to keep the media well away from the front lines.

As for facts being interpreted differently, I'm curious about recent reports of dead animals visible by satellite in Afghanistan. These have been interpreted as evidence that someone has been experimenting with biological weapons.

At the same time, Afghanistan is in its third year of drought. I'd be astonished if there weren't dead animals lying around.

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 24 September 2001 01:30 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Vietnam was the "television war".

The Gulf War was the "CNN war".

Whatever will happen in the near future will be the "Internet war". It will, presumably, be easier to get alternative sources of information about what's going on "over there". This will create all sorts of new questions about media. How reliable will the "internet news media" be? How will we be able to separate fact from rumour? How much weight do we give to stories that start with "a guy told me that he read on the Internet that..."?

The number of false rumours that passed around in the first few days of the crisis is a good lesson. More information doesn't equal better information.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 24 September 2001 01:38 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure how optimistic to be about the potential of the Internet to give us good information, should there be war in Afghanistan. Independent web sites probably won't be in a better position to put actual people on the ground there than anyone else.

As for how much weight to give the "a guy told me..." stories, that's easy. Give them the same credence you give them now, i.e. none whatsoever.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 24 September 2001 01:47 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sure, I don't give them any weight. But how many of those stories were passed around by less media-literate folk over the past couple of weeks?
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
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posted 24 September 2001 04:43 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, I am more worried about deliberate lies told us by the mainstream media in order to build up mass hysteria and war-fever.

For example, once the US won the air-war (without any US casualties) and the war was well under way, Saddam Hussein's army was built up by the media (fed by the Pentagon) as an almost invincible army dug into the sand where we could flush them out at the price of great American casualties.

As it turned out, they were just bulldozed under (literally) with ridiculous ease.

It is impossible to believe that the Pentagon (fed by the CIA) never knew how pathetic Hussein's army was. But they needed to scare the US public into the continued full support and tolerance they wanted in the first place.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 24 September 2001 04:57 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Our governments don't consider these lies, they are "controlled information" or "spin". It's a fact of life that each side will try to make themselves look better by playing down some aspects and accenting others. The only thing we can do is read discriminately and not believe everything we hear. We have a benefit with the internet that we can often see the "spin" from the other side. The negative is that any Tom, Dick, Harry or Jane can put their own "spin" up and make it look official. We can't even depend on if more sites say this than that, this must be true. We have to learn to judge for ourselves what is most likely to be the truth.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
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posted 24 September 2001 05:05 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trisha, talking about non-existent nurses seeing unspecified babies thrown out of phantom incubators is hardly a spin.

And I find it impossible to believe that absolutely nobody in the Washington power circles (Congressmen, Senators, etc.)recognized the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador stationed in Washington.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 24 September 2001 05:08 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wasn't talking about that specific instance but other things that were said along with it that weren't that easy to recognize as untruths. If they'd gotten away with it, it would have been "spin". There were many things, that was only one. Sometimes things don't come out for many years, especially the bad actions of the "good guys".

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Trisha ]


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
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posted 24 September 2001 05:16 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trisha, I agree with you entirely. There, of course, is a lot of spin and yes, both sides do it.

And there are deliberate lies (and again, both sides do it) but I am primarily concerned about our side doing it to us to whip up war hysteria. And, for that, spin is not always enough.

As Goebbels (Hitler's propaganda minister) said: "if a lie is to succeed, make it a real whopper, so nobody thinks you'd dare go that far". It worked for him, people are too naive , trusting, innocent to believe evil on a grand scale.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 24 September 2001 05:26 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What I'm worried about is how the Chrétien government is toying with the freedom of information act, and from what I've seen, the media doesn't give a damn. So far, I have only seen one article in Maclean's (and they mention it briefly while talking about "the good" liberals in another article) magazine. Where is CBC? Are they afraid of losing funding? wouldn't surprise me. What about CTV? They're probably not allowed to since the head of BCE (Which owns CTV) is a prominant Liberal supporter, same goes for Izzy Asper and his Canwest Global empire. This is the kind of thing that gets many people apathetic about the whole damn thing. The odds against them are just too much.

Well I'm not giving up. Not yet, anyway.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 24 September 2001 05:33 PM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, the media reports what sources tell them. And it's on the shoulders of the reporters to investigate to find out if the facts are true or not. You can say that the media is the propaganda arm of the government but then again, special interests groups can spoon feed them propaganda as well. When it all boils down to is, what is truth anymore? The media can be a propaganda tool for any cause.
From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 24 September 2001 05:37 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, there have been reports of such organizations as CTV, in which many stories didn't make it to television because they got orders from "the boss" (of BCE). And that was from Freedom House. An organization that is rather right leaning. This is a real problem!
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 24 September 2001 05:42 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
When it all boils down to is, what is truth anymore?


What do you mean, "anymore"? These issues are as old as the printing press and mass literacy.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 24 September 2001 08:44 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Older, in a way. Pilate also asked, rhetorically, "what is truth?"
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 24 September 2001 09:54 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Re: "Internet war".

One thing that makes this situation different from the Gulf War is that the sheer one-sided saturation of the North American populace left almost no room for someone to say "um, but wait a minute..."

Today, however, indymedia and other alternative sites are making it easier for undercurrents of popular dislike for the official party line to make themselves known.

Already, it's been just a week and a half and already a group of people I chat with on IRC have gone right back to questioning the one-sided portrayal of the legitimacy of Israel's actions.

So I am heartened that popular support for measures other than all-out war with major casualties is still alive.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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