Monkey See…

Again, today’s NYT has a story that’s mixed at best for the administration. In this instance, it’s about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. Hell, the title of the story is “Tales of Despair From Guantanamo“. But right near the beginning, in paragraph four, appears this phrase: “None of those interviewed complained of physical mistreatment.” Based on this quote alone, the story could easily be written in one of two ways:

  • Well-treated prisoners complain about conditions, or
  • conditions [are described] as so desperate that some captives tried to kill themselves.”

This story is clearly written along the lines of the second example, which is a quote. In contrast, my subjective view is that both pre-war and during the war, almost every news piece was spun along the lines of the first example. Now stories appear to be increasingly written in a fashion unfavorable to the administration, as exemplified by the latest NYT story.

No, this is not liberal bias. It just shows that if three pieces tell a story in a given fashion, the fourth piece on the subject is almost sure to tell the same story–partly press stupidity, but mostly laziness. Of late, other journalists have written less-than-glowing articles about the war and Bush, so now Gall and Lewis (the authors of this Gitmo story) can do the same. What got the ball rolling? Possibly Kristoff last Friday, but it may date back to E.J. Dionne, who was the first to reclaim his spine at the start of 2003. (If I missed a predecessor, let me know).


P.S. Morat’s got more here and, particularly, here.

UPDATE: On the other hand, the intelligent bloggers at Not Geniuses bring us this.