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When biased just isn’t enough

Saba Ahmed quietly talking about blowing up Christmas trees
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

As consumers of network news/entertainment we must resign ourselves to accepting the bias in every broadcast. It would seem every journalist major wants to change the world rather than report the news. It is easy to see by the stories reported and the facts presented that bias hasn’t just crept in but has an anchor spot on every broadcast. How many times have you seen Democratic party affiliation buried deep in a story that would have highlighted Republican malfeasance. Have you even noticed crimes stories with detailed descriptions of the perpetrator excluding race?

It has reached the point where every news story is viewed with a jaundiced eye. At least we could assume the facts of the report are true. Or can we? What if the reporter’s bias isn’t enough to sway you into his or her world view? Will we find some reporters manufacture controversy out of whole cloth to discredit a group or idea they disagree with? Let us report and you decide.

Earlier this month Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported that the Benghazi Accountability Coalition turned into “ugly taunting of a woman in the room who wore an Islamic head covering”. (Story here) He described Saba Ahmed as an American University law student who asked questions in a soft voice. Then he wrote panelist Brigitte Gabriel pounced, attacked and demanded even using the N word (Nazi). Dana then accused the panel moderator Chris Plante grinning while joining in the assault as the audience cheered.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of those involved. Before we go to the video tape to decide for ourselves a few facts might be in order. This was not the Heritage Foundation as the headline implies, it was the Benghazi Accountability Coalition. They borrowed a meeting room to discuss why four Americans died in Benghazi and not to bash Muslims. Our soft spoken university student is not who she is portrayed as. She owns a Washington lobbying firm (here), ran for Congress in Oregon (here), graduated Portland state in 2004 (here) and still finds the time to march with OWS, volunteer for Democrat candidates and pal around with the Christmas tree bomber (here). She is as much a student as those that held our embassy staff in 1979.

Now that we know the facts let’s review the video of what happens when an interloper asks a question designed to be off topic and newsworthy. (Video) Now that you have seen the actual exchange does it agree with what Dana Milbank reported? Is it possible that Dana and Saba were in collusion to produce what they hoped would be an O’Keefe moment? When it failed to meet their expectations did their prejudice get the better of them and did Milbank report what he thought would happen?

Since we have now seen both sides of the story and arrived at our own interpretation can we find other stories that are so blatant? It is easy to find if you look, here is one on gun control. What about stories that don’t make the news? Stories of conservatives wanting not to disrupt, but inform the public of what goes on with public servants at college meetings. (Portland University public meeting) You can watch it several times and still not find the tolerance shown to Saba.

If you are now wishing for the halcyon times of the past you watch too much news. As Mark Twain said over 100 years ago “Those that don’t read the news are uninformed, those that do are misinformed”.

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