A Tale of Two Headlines

by Sal on April 9, 2010

in International Relations,Media,Media Bias,Russia

Finding, consuming, and critically reading news has become far more of a challenge over the past few years.  Take the news of Obama’s Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Treaty of Surrender to the Russians, and how it will fare in the Senate.  According to the Constitution, all treaties need to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate (that’s 67 Senators). There are, for all intents and purposes, 59 Democrat Senators (57 registered Democrats and two “Independents” who are virtually indistinguishable to Democrats).  So in order to have this abomination of a treaty ratified by the Senate, Obama needs all 59 Democrats and at least 8 Republicans to go along with his surrender plans.  So what are the chances of that happening?  If you look at two articles, one from the Associated Press and the other from the Washington Examiner, you get two different takes:

AP: Republicans Expected to Line Up Behind New START

WaEx: Obama Nuke Treaty Has a Tough Path Ahead in the Senate

Two stories from two publications, both about the same set of facts, yet both diametrically opposed to each other.  Why the difference?  The AP story, as a state-run media publication, has an agenda.  It wants to create an aura of inevitability surrounding START, to guilt Republicans into thinking that deference is usually given in regards to treaties, and therefore coax enough of them (at least 8 – possibly more if Lieberman stays true to his principles on the matter) to follow Obama like lemmings over a cliff.  The Washington Examiner story, on the other hand, looks at the reality of the situation and reports what is most likely the case.  It is not cut and dry that the GOP will fall in line (although they might) around such a treaty.  The examiner piece, since it is not part of the state-run media, isn’t trying to affect an outcome.

These two stories illustrate perfectly why intelligent people need to consider the source when reading news stories.  One should not stop reading the Associated Press, but should realize the inherent biases in any AP story, and interpret the story accordingly.  The New Media has provided the opportunity for thousands of news sources to be available, and for all of the news sources to be fact checked and critiqued by thousands of citizen-journalists and opinion writers, thus allowing for a more complete picture of daily news events.  The challenge is to sift through the noise and find the truth in a sea of information of varying degrees of accuracy.  A challenge that is time consuming to be sure, but necessary in these days in which our freedom and our security are under assault, and having good, reliable information is our first line of defense.

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April 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

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