We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
GWYNNIE’S MEDIA INNUENDO AWARD – CATEGORY: HEADLINE
We have awarded November’s Media Innuendo Award to London’s Metro newspaper (the free paper distributed by London’s public transportation system, www.metro.co.uk) for this classically (and probably intentionally) misleading headline, which perfectly illustrates the media’s ability to imply conclusions not warranted by the facts:
Blair told: War has fuelled terrorism
On our return from England, we showed this newspaper to an educated group of New England Yankees and asked a simple, professorial question: “What is the Fact revealed here?” Shame on them – they were suckered in and talked about the war and its effect on terrorism. NO, children, the Fact here is that Blair was told something! In the Metro’s paragraph one, we learn that this came from “his own advisors”. In paragraph two, we learn it came from “a group of Islamic experts appointed in the wake of the July 7 bombings in London”. In paragraph six, we are told that “the experts ranged from Inayat Bungawala, of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, to outspoken ‘curry king’ Sir Gulam Noon.”
We had to turn to the Daily Telegraph to learn that the entire panel was composed of Muslims opposed to any attempt to outlaw radical groups such as Hizb-ut-tahrir and Muhajiroun, saying such an attempt “risked alienating law-abiding Muslims and driving fanatics underground.” The Muslim report concluded that the Government’s Terrorism Bill “could lead to a significant chill factor in the Muslim community in expressing legitimate support for self-determination struggles around the world.” Like al-Qaeda, of course.
Knowing, then, from where the report came and its biases, go back to the headline: the Fact is that Blair received biased opinion from a special interest group attempting to influence legislation; the headline phrases it in such a clever way that it appears that the group’s conclusion is the Fact the Metro is reporting.
The Metro clearly deserves this month’s Media Innuendo Award.