Thursday, February 14, 2013

Headlines below the fold

The WAGD headline of the day: SARS like virus now seen in Europe, can spread from person to person.


Michael Totten, in World Affairs journal, discusses how the ideology of the local press distorts news coverage  (sometimes because the gov'ts order them to spin stories, in other cases because the reporters are so enmeshed in the party line that they literally can't report what is in front of their eyes).

This is what Kristof is doing when he says China is engaging North Korea in order to encourage opening and reform. But that’s not what’s happening. That’s what America would do if we engaged North Korea, but Beijing isn’t Washington.
There’s not much we can do to prevent foreign people from projecting their psychology onto us, but we should at least resist doing to the same thing to them.

An example of this is the coverage of the MSM, especially the NYTimes, over the Pope's resignation.
Taranto at the WSJ comments:

What's really striking about the Times story, though, is its ideological perspective--one that views the Catholic Church through the distorting lens of contemporary American liberalism as that weird religion that discriminates against women and has some sort of hang-up about condoms. Again, it reminds us of the way totalitarian propaganda outfits "report" on enemy states.
If you think "enemy states" is overwrought, check out the Times op-ed page. In a piece titled "Farewell to an Uninspiring Pope," playwright John Patrick Shanley rants against the church:
The fact that Shanley's "opinions" are blatently false doesn't mean that they won't print him.
To be sure, this is an opinion piece, not a news story. Even the Times editorialists, although they may share Shanley's views, would never express them anywhere near as vividly. Still, it's hard to imagine the Times op-ed page publishing such a rant about, say, Islam--or, for that matter, about President Obama's leadership.

StrategyPage sees the same thing in coverage of "civilian" casualties in Afghanistan by NATO:
Taliban propaganda, and the enthusiasm of the media for jumping on real, or imagined, civilian deaths caused by foreign troops, made people forget that far more civilians (about four times as many) had been killed by the Taliban. But because Afghans have been conditioned to expect more civilized behavior from the foreign troops, much less media attention is paid to the civilians killed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Of course Afghan civilians are aware of who is killing most of the civilians, and that's why the Taliban and al Qaeda get low numbers in local opinion polls. But the media, hammering foreign troops every time they kill a civilian, or are simply (often falsely) accused of doing so, led to the ROE becoming far more strict than it ever was in Iraq. Thus, one Taliban victory you don't hear much about is how they turned their use of human shields into a powerful, and very successful, propaganda weapon against NATO and U.S. troops and an excellent way to avoid getting attacked. 
President Obama released an executive order on internet security a few hours before the SOTU.

And StrategyPage discusses cybersecurity here.

For later reading (the router is still out...and we've had one short brownout already this morning).

Ha: Via Instapundit:

Wired: Darth Vader's fatal miscalculation on Hoth

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