Perspective or Bias?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by dickhilker, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. In our most recent thread, Will Perlis brought up an interesting thought that
    touched on a subject I feel deserves its own forum, so here goes . . . inasmuch
    as every artist sees his subject in a unique way and presents his vision laden
    with the artifacts of his own experience, is there a point at which his
    perspective becomes a biased view?

    News reporters and photographers are expected to be as objective as humanly
    possible, but the clear editorial stance of most mainstream media suggests
    otherwise. Is it even reasonable to expect any story or photograph to present a
    picture that's completely devoid of bias or even a predetermined agenda?

    As artists who wield cameras instead of brushes or chisels, is there a greater
    burden on us to be free of prejudice simply because of the old adage
    that "cameras don't lie"? (Definitely pre-Photoshop!) Does it make a difference
    whether our work is expected to be factual or if it might be thought of as
    representational or even abstract? Is there such a thing as truth in the
    abstract?

    Is there really a difference between perspective and bias?
     
  2. i once knew, nolonger with us, who owned a leica md and he was blind. he took pictures and he would say that he could feel the image with his fingers especially when printed on Kodak Opal paper.

    you made me think of him and what his perspective must have been.
     
  3. A disclaimer: I am pretty much retired and was not a photojournalist (PJ) or artist although some people thought otherwise.

    I have never known a PJ (or writer/reporter) who was objective or unbiased. What the photographer chooses to frame means he has chosen not to frame something else. Now, I HAVE seen work done by certain PJs that more clearly 'told the story' than others in the same or similar situations. Clarity instead of abstraction is, imho, a virtue.

    Very often the picture that tells the story is not the picture that's going to make an editor or photographer well known, or even appreciated, so the tendency is to honor and award "that great shot" that existed among very many others that might have been better in terms of what you might be calling objectivity, so I would say that your assertion that they are expected to be as objective as possible by their peers and editors is just plain incorrect.

    The difference between perspective and bias is semantic. Make a definition if you like, but whatever you decide is not as important as realizing how individuals are usually motivated by an idea which has unexamined fundamental presumptions. It is important because people act upon ideas. What people do makes the difference, and most "do" unconsciously.
     
  4. As artists who wield cameras instead of brushes or chisels, is there a greater burden on us to be free of prejudice simply because of the old adage that "cameras don't lie"?
    The entire adage is "cameras don't lie, but photographers do." This goes all the way back to the very beginnings of photography and has nothing to do with Photoshop or other digital editing programs.
    Since you bring up the issue of clear editorial bias in the mainstream media" I take it that you are independent and intelligent person and are including Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity, etc. in that assessment as you don't get much more mainstream or influential of public opinion than that. So as one independent thinker to another I ask what you think should be done with people who make terroristic threats like sending white powder in unmarked envelopes to people and organizations you disagree with? Such a story is related here :
    http://www.wwd.com/ issue/article/107729
     
  5. I couldn't access the link, Ellis, but if this incident was like too many others I feel the perpetrators should be exposed for what they are -- terrorists. Beyond that, I'd rather not wander too close to politics.

    Since I've been clicking shutters for about sixty years, I'm familiar with the context of the expression, but appreciate the clarification. When Weegee of the (NY) Daily News shot one of his grisly pictures, readers shuddered, knowing the gore and pain were very real. Newsrooms didn't have the skill, even if they might have wanted, to alter his gritty pictures. By contrast, today's PJs have it easy when they want to put a certain slant to the story.

    Considering they "work for the man" and have editors to please, that's not too surprising. It does seem disingenuous, however, to maintain an air of impartiality and balance when the results are so clearly otherwise. And, yes, that applies to both sides of a polarized media. I suppose that to expect more would be to strip them of their human instincts and attempt a utopian impossibility.

    Those of us who aren't PJs, however, seem to be confronted with just the oposite challenge -- how to creatively infuse our work with our emotions and sense of wonder. If we fail at that, don't we fall short of creating real art?
     
  6. Those of us who aren't PJs, however, seem to be confronted with just the oposite challenge -- how to creatively infuse our work with our emotions and sense of wonder. If we fail at that, don't we fall short of creating real art?
    If you claim your objective is 'real art' (which is so vague that it obviates the relatively narrow scope of journalism), then of course you need not have the same concern as a photojournalist. That should be very clear.
    Coulter is not a journalist. Neither is she an artist. She is a terrorist, a trolling opportunist, raking in the big bucks by subverting reason and the tighly coupled, long-held idea of freedom.
     
  7. I couldn't access the link, Ellis, but if this incident was like too many others I feel the perpetrators should be exposed for what they are -- terrorists. I whole heartedly agree Dick.
    Since you could not acess the link, here is the story in full:
    If you falsely yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater and everyone tramples each other to death, you get sent to jail. So what should be done with Ann Coulter, who has argued that The New York Times should have been blown up by Timothy McVeigh and that Times executive editor Bill Keller should be executed by firing squad?
    This was the question one Times source asked on Friday after an employee at the paper of record received an envelope with an X scrawled through it and a suspicious powder inside. "This thing makes all of Ann Coulter's comments a little less funny," said the source. "I wonder if she considers herself at all responsible when lunatics read her columns and she says that we should be killed."
    So Memo Pad went and asked her, sending an e-mail to her AOL account. And guess what? She not only responded, but claimed to be the sender of the mysterious powder.
    "So glad to hear that The New York Times got my letter and that your friend at the Times thinks I'm funny," she wrote back. "Good luck in journalism and please send me your home address so we can stay in touch, too.
    "P.S. If we get hit again, don't forget to ask the NYT if they consider themselves responsible since they have repeatedly exposed classified government programs designed to prevent another terrorist attack."
    Thankfully, the powder at the Times turned out to be cornstarch. Memo Pad declined to send Coulter its home address.
    ラ Jacob Bernstein, Women's Wear Daily
     
  8. Dick,
    it is me (again). You wrote:

    "Newsrooms didn't have the skill, even if they might have wanted, to alter his gritty
    pictures." actuall ythat isn't true. Newpapers and in magazines have always possesed
    and often exercised the skills and ability to manipulate photographic coverage of a story.
    The crudest and most powerful tool is of course simply editing what gets run and what
    doesn't. Newpapers frequently ran gory photos like those of Weegee's to boost circualtion
    against rival publications. And publishers ahve frequently exercised their bias. perhaps
    most blatantly in the USA in Joseph Hearst's inflaming public opinion and goading the Us
    to war i nthe Spanish-American War.

    I can think of at least two recent incidents where photo-journalists who used their
    Photoshop skills to juice up a photo were both outed and fired by sharp eyed editors and
    readers. In one instance British pj filled out a crowd of Iraqi's and put weapons in the
    hands of people who in other sections of the picture didn't have weapons.

    As you point out Photoshop has democratized photo-manipualtion skills, butthe larger
    picture is that today traditional "mainstream media" is losing ground as a primary new
    source becasue cheap computers and even cheaper still and video cameras , combined
    with easy internet access has even more throughly democratized our access to stories
    that otherwise we might never have known about. it is harder to manipulate the news
    when the public has so many ways to get many different points of view, a plurality and
    diversity of of coverage is a good and empowering thing for a healthy democracy and a
    bad thing for tyranny.
     
  9. "Is there really a difference between perspective and bias?"

    (Let's leave Ann Coulter aside. Far, far aside. IMO she's at least as pathologically nutty as the far leftists of the '60s.)

    "Perspective" and "Bias" are, in this context, words with the same basic meaning. The difference is that "bias" is pejorative when used anywhere other than in electronics.

    I just don't see how it's in any way possible to divorce oneself from whatever one does, and that includes photography.

    For PJ there are some formal and rudimentary operational definitinos of "objective", such as "Don't add anything" and "Don't delete anything" and "You can get rid of dust" and "You can tweak contrast". But that's about it.

    I'm not sure it's worth worrying about. I automatically assume an artist, reporter, politcian, scientist, photographer, et al. is "coming from somewhere". If the subject is of interest I'll make an effort to find out where that is.
     
  10. The Old Testament forbids the graven image partly because pictures play on the emotions
    and are thought an unreliable means of telling the truth. The God of the Bible and of the
    Koran is the God of the Word. Rational thought is conveyed by the word. In a trial involving
    video-taped evidence, such as the Rodney King police brutality trial, the lawyers argued
    about what the pictorial evidence meant. Pictures need interpretation.

    Stills of any kind do not present reality as it is since life is never frozen or framed.
    Freezing life
    necessarily transforms it into something that could no longer be called real. As has been
    said above, framing involves making huge omissions.

    Ann Coulter may be a nut, but she has got a swell-looking set of gams. A perfect example
    of the power of image to sway opinion through emotion. Her irrational ideas are sold
    partially by means of the irrational power her beauty holds as conveyed through television.
    She is largely a visual phenomenon.

    Freedom and subverting reason are not mutually exclusive. Most of what is said anywhere
    is not true. Freedom is not about telling the truth. Freedom is about liberty.

    Ann Coulter exaggerates, uses irony, defends the indefensible such as Senator Joseph
    McCarthy, but is she a terrorist? Was McCarthy himself? Are muslim clerics who call for
    jihad or pronounce fatwahs? People may act after hearing something. But does that make
    the speaker responsible for what they do? What is the point in labeling Coulter a terrorist?
    To pave the way to send her to Guantanamo? How else could you shut her up? Intent is
    hard to prove.
     
  11. "...pictures play on the emotions and are thought an unreliable means of telling the truth. ... Rational thought is conveyed by the word."

    I suspect the ancients weren't pre-channelling Marshall McLuhan and certainly hacking an image out of stone doesn't allow for much PJ work.

    As for the word conveying any sort of intrinsic rationality, you *have* to be kidding. There's absolutely nothing that necessarily links any word or sequence of them to any reality at all.
     
  12. Well, now I MUST chime in on this thread: Ann Coulter's legs are WAY too skinny.

    On the photography part of it, I'm not sure any photo can avoid some form of what someone is going to consider bias. Go back in archives and see pix of Jesse Helms with his mouth wide open and eyes half shut like he's frothing, Teddy Kennedy looking drunk, your favorite/least favorite pol looking dazed/confident, etc. While each photo would be a true representation quite often, it probably gave a "slant" to the story where it was presented.
     
  13. From today's "Slate": Quote- " A photo is not necessarily a lie,nor is it the truth. It is more of a fleeting subjective impression." (Martine Franck.) Agree or not,the burden gets to be one of intellectual honesty. Whatever that means to you, of course,and there lies the debate.
     
  14. kevin farrell Ann Coulter exaggerates, uses irony, defends the indefensible such as Senator Joseph McCarthy, but is she a terrorist?
    Certainly she is. She uses lies to terrify people in order to pursuade them that her language is correct. She asks terrorists to punish those she disagrees with. She's an ally of the myth the right-wing has created. The current rightwing uses the word "freedom" in a context never used before in American history - coupled with threats of terrorists under every bed, the removal of freedoms.
    Will Perlis There's absolutely nothing that necessarily links any word or sequence of them to any reality at all.
    The mind uses words and pictures to create its framework to navigate through life. Misinformation repeated over and over and coupled to a familiar word changes the foundations of frameworks. Frameworks lead to action. Action is reality. Read up on the famous Problems of Social Reality.
    Jack Floyd Well, now I MUST chime in on this thread: Ann Coulter's legs are WAY too skinny.
    And her legs are the best part of her! IMHO she isn't suitable for dog food.
     
  15. Hey, Will Perlis, words convey rational thought, not 'intrinsic reality.' Words are a better
    means of reaching the truth than pictures because appearances can deceive. Viewed from
    above water, the stick under water appears bent, even though it is not. Sometimes what you
    know is different from what you see.
     
  16. words convey rational thought
    Rational thought is not an inherent trait of either a written or spoken language. Words and grammar convey irrational thinking and ideas just as easily, gracefully, intelligently, artfully and forcefully as they can rationality, truth, or deception.
     
  17. Words convey rational thought, pictures do not. To say words convey rational thought is not
    to say they exclusively convey rational thought. When I say a bucket holds water, this does
    not imply I mean to include buckets with holes in them.
     
  18. Dick,

    Your OP made me think of the famous Karsh portrait of the Nazi officer, where the use of
    harsh uplighting made the subject look demonic. Definitely a point of view going on there.
    Maybe point of view is a better term for bias or perspective. Anyone who makes a picture or
    crafts a sentence brings a point of view to the task.
     
  19. Wow. What a thread. And what misinformation. I am a working photojournalist. My pictures are published virtually every day. For those who really care about the original question how about a reality check.

    Every newspaper photographer will tell you that the vast majority of pictures have no political slant at all. They are not political stories. When I am sent to photograph anyone I assume it is my job to make them look as presentable as possible. That said. The other day I was sent to photograph Howard Dean. He is a politician about whom I am ambivalent at best. So do I make him look bad? Please. That would be so transparent that anyone seeing the picture would know exactly what I was doing. Starting with my managing editor. Besides. Ask yourself this question. What is the real story? This is a story about Howard Dean�s speech to a Democrat fundraiser. My charge, as I saw it, was to take a picture that showed to those who were not there what the experience of being there was like. Dean was his usual gregarious self. The story dictated that I illustrate that. The picture that was published was one of him holding his famous fundraising bat. I�m sure he would have liked it. Slant was not the story.

    Re Coulter: I am required to attend political events from both sides of the aisle. I can assure you that you can hear stuff just as outrageous as anything Coulter says at any Democrat or Republican meeting. She just markets it better. (I vote for great legs.) (Before anyone starts calling me names I voted for Nader.) But just listen to you folks! And on a thread about bias. Sheesh.

    There are some obviously partisan publications out there. The New York Times heading the list. It has become a laughing stock in the rest of the media and today announced that it is cutting news coverage dramatically. Why. Bad reporting. People know the difference between a biting political commentary and a hatchet job. The NYT lied and got caught. They offer no balance at all. At least Hannity has Colmbs. But the real difference is that Hannity, Colmbs, Limbaugh, Goodman and Ivins is that they don�t claim to be journalists. They are political commentators. Readers like them. What they don�t like is political commentary disguised in a news story. And they say so.

    Journalistic integrity begins and ends with the reader. They are always trump. On a practical level journalistic integrity flows from the publisher, through the editors and to me. My �chain of command� would never tolerate my tampering with a photograph except for the normal adjustments to make it reproduce better. (Color balance, contrast, sharpening cropping for fit and such.) Nor would our readers trust us if we published a hatchet job.

    Finally I can honestly say that I really don�t think about political slant when I am working. I am too busy. Besides. News photographs happen suddenly and outside of my control. I just snap away and let the editors sort it out. That is the news. A photo essay is something quite different. That is for another thread. Ask the photojournalists you know and you will find out that we are simply too busy and hopefully to professional to slant our coverage. It just doesn�t work that way. One more illustration. Hypothetical. I see lots of bad stuff. And in the middle of this bad stuff there are often these angels called firefighters/paramedics. Magnificent men and women who are heroes every single day. The average person simply has no idea about what they do. So if I see some of them a little tipsy at their Christmas pary but don't take or turn in the picture is this media bias? Just the opposite. If I did turn in the 'story' I would be doing all of them a disservice. That is unless I turned in 5000 pictures of them doing CPR, entering flaming buildings, consoling the victims and risking their lives at the same time. Balance, understanding, compassion and honesty are the hallmarks of a good photojournalist. That and the old saying....."F8 and be there".
     
  20. Rick says the job is to make them look as "presentable as possible?" That is a reality check,thanks. And I had thought photojournalism was to illustrate and help "sell"-in the positive sense- a story, keeping circulation afloat. That said,as a consumer of photojournalism, I admire the working photojournalist,who,like writers, gets marching orders from above. Article by photo editor of New York Times link below.(No opinion on Coulter,not my type):

    http://www.nytimes.com/ref/business/media/asktheeditors.html
     
  21. Here is the Q and A section I remembered as relevant to reader perception and recognition of the effect of "perspective":

    "Q. News images influence how we perceive a story or individual. For example, one image might show a candidate appearing confident while in another he or she may appear befuddled or guilty. Unlike the written article, which presumably strives to acknowledge different points of view, the photo is typically a singular statement. How do photo editors walk this journalistic line?

    -- Yosh Asato, San Francisco, Calif.

    A. (New York Times Photo Editor) The photo editor will typically read the story and/or talk to the reporter or photographer from the scene and make a selection that is emotionally truthful."
     
  22. Rick, your "reality check" is an excellent example that some type and degree of bias is inherent to any reporting an individual does. It's unsettling that you don't seem to recognize the extent to which you are looking for certain images which fit into what you think you should present to the public.
     
  23. Journalists should question official versions. Government spokesmen are reassuring. They
    present a facade that the journalist should attempt to penetrate.

    News coverage is like a trial, with the forces attempting to influence an environment as the
    defense and the journalist as cross-examiner. The journalist brings prejudices to a story,
    but he can ask equally tough questions of all sides, not sparing his own side. It might be
    impossible to remain unbiased, but the search for the truth can be credible if all
    sides are held equally to account.

    The American television news networks lost credibility not asking tough questions leading
    up to and during the Iraq invasion. They catered to popular sentiment which, at the
    beginning at least, was in favor of invasion. The network news organizations pursued
    ratings. They spouted the official party
    line of the Bush administration. Maybe they were cowed by the old cliche that it was the
    news media that had turned public opinion against continuing the war in Vietnam.
     
  24. "The mind uses words and pictures to create its framework to navigate through life. ... Frameworks lead to action. Action is reality"

    Pico, yes, but it's a two-way street. Existing physical and social reality, and the perceptions of those, affect the words and pictures used. There's no *necessary* correspondence.

    As for "terrorist", applying such to Ann C. is the equivalent of the "We are all guilty" nonsense formulation I heard right after JFK's shooting. It makes the word worthless for anything but emotional feedback, uttering it becomes the equivalent of doing a war-dance.
     
  25. "Words are a better means of reaching the truth than pictures because appearances can deceive. Viewed from above water, the stick under water appears bent, even though it is not. Sometimes what you know is different from what you see."

    That doesn't seem to bother bears catching fish. I guess they discuss refraction back in the cave with their cubs during the winter. As for "rationality", it's just logic-chopping unless grounded in a testable reality. Anyone using a computer has experienced that disconnect at times.
     
  26. A bear might be able to catch a fish from sight, but he would have to read an article to know
    it contained mercury.
     
  27. Rick McCallum [...] Finally I can honestly say that I really don?t think about political slant when I am working. I am too busy. Besides. News photographs happen suddenly and outside of my control. I just snap away and let the editors sort it out. [...]
    Excellent post from the individual's perspective. Thank you for that, Rick. I omitted the several other references you made to the editors being the final word. This discussion slid into the aggregate view of "the media", not the work of a single photographer.
    Still, speaking of editors this:
    New York Times photo editor: The photo editor will typically read the story and/or talk to the reporter or photographer from the scene and make a selection that is emotionally truthful."
    What the hell is Emotional Truth? That seems to indicate that the editor is treating a photojournalistic picture as an illustration, possibly removed from the larger, more objective view of the event. Let me illustrate by a real example. When the crowds in Iraq pulled down the statue of Sadaam, the media first chose the highly dramatic and emotional, practically Potemkin-perfect propaganda close-ups. Now from some more enlightened editors, or possibly from those who were wringing the 'story' for what it was worth long after the original broadcasts, we got pictures taken from the long view which show very few participants, US military and PR assistance, and a few actors doing the job.
    Further, those cliche "demonstration" pictures of so many foreign events... if one were to pull the camera back from the "emotional" content one would see a few demonstrators in a cluster surrounded by ordinary, everyday street activity, sometimes even citizens smiling, waving at the camera and laughing.
    Emotional Truth my butt. Darn, now I am tempted to dig out some of the work I did during the Chicago Days of Rage for examples, the editor's choice and some unpublished images.
     
  28. Will Perlis Pico, yes, but it's a two-way street. Existing physical and social reality, and the perceptions of those, affect the words and pictures used. There's no *necessary* correspondence.
    Words and nonverbal information (that is, information not available to the language center) create meaning which leads to action which creates social reality. There is a necessary correspondence. It is a two-way street and it is not a "Chicken or the Egg" sitation either, because words' meanings can be changed and therefore the way those words are coupled with other concepts can change along with them. It is how human brains work.
    By choosing to believe that a word is just a word, one ignores how many cultures, states and nations have waged war based upon a word. The larger the group of people necessary for a concensus to war or market (very similar), the simpler 'the word' or catchphrase must become; it has to fit comfortably at the top of the Bell curve.
    Words and nonverbal information (that is, information not available to the language center) create meaning which leads to action which creates social reality.
    Remember, not acting is still action in social reality.
    As for "terrorist", applying such to Ann C. is the equivalent of the "We are all guilty" nonsense formulation I heard right after JFK's shooting.
    I never heard that. A lot of things are said once or twice. Obviously that utterance never took hold. It's those things that are hammered mercilessly into the public mind that make a difference. Take for example the utter perversion of the word Freedom by the right-wing in order that we forget what Freedom really means. Part of what it means is freedom from a hugely powerful government that removes the same by constantly coupling it with their agenda which in fact contradicts, in every way, what freedom has been to Americans for two hundred years.
    It makes the word worthless for anything but emotional feedback, uttering it becomes the equivalent of doing a war-dance.
    That supports my assertion. Action is social reality. War-dances are to precede wars, not benign social events.
    Let's go back a bit and see how changing a word's meaning can change how the public's reality changes in terms of our interest, photography. Take for example the angst some people feel when they read the term digital film. :) There is no such thing, but it certainly serves marketing purposes to promote digital by equating it with film, when there are, in fact, so many differences.
     
  29. Mike said:..."Rick, your "reality check" is an excellent example that some type and degree of bias is inherent to any reporting an individual does. It's unsettling that you don't seem to recognize the extent to which you are looking for certain images which fit into what you think you should present to the public...."

    Unsettling. It is far simpler than that. No offense but your argument is pointless. Everyone who picks up a camera does so with the intent upon taking a certain kind of image. Ironically, the photojournalist less so than others. On breaking news we react to the situation, not stage it. There is no ムpoint of view' at work. That comes later. This original post spoke to the position of the artist. It goes to motive. Do I have a personal agenda? Sure. Can I put it aside to do my job? If I could not I would not be very professional.

    You seem to be claiming that bias is inherent in the very act of taking a picture. Surly not. I dislike smoking but am quite capable of doing an advertising campaign for a cigarette company.

    You find it unsettling that I take pictures that I feel illustrate the story? That is my job. I'm sent to photograph a society wedding and you are unsettled by my attempts to make the bride look good? You would prefer I try to get her with some sour look or a nipple slip? That WOULD be coloring the news. It would be cruel and unfair.

    John: I'm with you. What is 'emotional truth'? Sounds like typical NYT newspeak to me. How many demonstrations are made to look extensive when about 11 protestors and eighty eleven news people showed up? I was at a protest where I counted people. There were 14 protestors, 4 street people 9 cops and 8 journalists. In a competing paper the next day I saw the assertion that 50 people showed up for the protest. Well. True enough I guess. Of course the Times is in trouble these days. Yours is a good example of why.

    News photographers are generalists. We photograph everything from cute kids to plane crashes. We cover breaking news and we shoot to illustrate a story already written. We are first photographers and try to take good pictures. We also use our judgment to take compelling pictures that we think our readers would like to see. Biased. Sure. But not the kind of bias most people suspect. Besides. We are WAY to busy to turn every assignment into a photo essay.

    Winston Churchill once said: "The difference between a statesmen and a politician is that a statesman agrees with you."

    I think this is a good analogy for the photojournalism business. Look at how a thread on photojournalism devolved into an "I hate Coulter and everyone who likes her" tome. I find that bias is, as often as not, in the eye of the beholder.
     
  30. "There's no *necessary* correspondence."/"There is a necessary correspondence."

    Pico, I think I see the problem and I think we're actually in agreement.

    I was using "necessary correspondence" to mean a fixed and clear mapping between word and reality and denying that exists. For sure we're in agreement about words and manipulation. "Freedom" is doubleplusgood.
     
  31. You find it unsettling that I take pictures that I feel illustrate the story? That is my job. I'm sent to photograph a society wedding and you are unsettled by my attempts to make the bride look good? You would prefer I try to get her with some sour look or a nipple slip? That WOULD be coloring the news. It would be cruel and unfair.
    I find it unsettling that you seem to sincerely believe that the images you choose to take to present things as you see them (or as you want them to be seen) are unbiased images. Restricting yourself to shooting only flattering images while avoiding shots where the bride looks unhappy, bored, or tired is just as biased as only capturing unflattering images.
     
  32. As for "terrorist", applying such to Ann C. is the equivalent of the "We are all guilty" nonsense formulation I heard right after JFK's shooting.
    She is the one wo, when asked claims that she anonymously sent a strange white powder (it turned out to be cornstarch butthe person who opened it didn't know that) to the New York Times. Since there have been cases where Anthrax has been sent in the same way to other individuals and organizations, and since she has advcated killing editors and reporters at the NYT, why shouldn't she be classified as a terrorist? After all has she not both advocated and now claims to have commited an act that the Federal goverment classifies as terroristic in nature?
    Rick wrote:
    I am required to attend political events from both sides of the aisle. I can assure you that you can hear stuff just as outrageous as anything Coulter says at any Democrat or Republican meeting.
    I too have been to lots of political rallies across a very wide political spectrum in over 25 years as a working photojournalist in the USA and except for the KKK, anti-abortion extremists, "The New Black Panthers", a very few pro-Arab extremists, a smaller number of pro-Israel extremists and some neo-Maoists, I've never heard anyone ever say that people need to be killed for their beliefs -- which is what Coulter has said she'd like to see happen.
     
  33. Early in my career as a newspaper photographer I thought I was unbiased. Funny that the pictures I made were very popular to the editors while the wider-view images by others were not. There had to be a reason, but I did not care.

    Later I was approached to consider a job as the very first white photographer at a very well established all-black newspaper. I asked, "What is this all about?" I'll save the response, but suffice to say my pictures reflected their particular agenda... and besides, being white meant I was less likely to be shot or beat-up by the cops while covering things like the assination of the Black Panthers, or the activities of the Blackstone Rangers. The Rangers, by the way, were my neighborhood 'police' and better than the Chicago police for keeping order and _peace_!

    Later I learned just how terribly ignorant and prejudiced I was. My prejudice was simply fashionable, and Okay with the media of the time. I began to hate newspaper work. It was a bad fit. I quit and went into magazine PJ work. I eventually quit that, too, and became an iron worker and laborer for years.

    Today I wonder what prejudices remain. It keeps me humble, I hope.

    Are we not all prejudiced in some way, possibly the very worst which is that we aren't aware of?
     
  34. "After all has she not both advocated and now claims to have commited an act that the Federal goverment classifies as terroristic in nature?"

    If she actually admitted sending that envelope she should expect a civil lawsuit for the intentional infliction of emotional distress at the very least, and probably a few criminal indictments.

    That is *action*, not the advocacy of action, and there's a difference. Advocacy can be punished when it's a direct stimulus to unlawful action but not before.

    The dangers of slipperyslopeism apply just as much to causes we like as it does to those we don't, and "terrorist" (or "freedom fighter" has already gone sledding down that slope quite some distance already.
     
  35. "Is there really a difference between perspective and bias?"

    How big did you want this can of worms to become.

    Me, I shoot and let the viewer decide but then again, I don't do journalism where, to me, the editor/wallet decides.

    How many people are the owner's over at the NY Times having to lay off because their sales are plummeting because readers are rejecting their perspective/bias by the tens of thousands?

    All journalism today is a perspective of bias.
     
  36. How many people are the owner's over at the NY Times having to lay off because their sales are plummeting because readers are rejecting their perspective/bias by the tens of thousands?
    yeah like the NYT is hardly the only traditional media outlet having to cut back on budgets because we now have a wide open internet to get our news and entertainment from. Keep spinning your line of conservative hype on this and you'll get too dizzy to type straight. The reason all of these giants are having to cut back is simple: advertisers are withholding their dollars as they can't quite figure out what works anymore. This affects everyone from the NYT to Rupert Murdoc's chain of conservative spin organs. In the meantime NPR's budgets have increased and so has their audience.
    I don't expect to persuade you; like most people you'll simply believe what you want to believe and not let facts get in the way.
     
  37. All journalism today is a perspective of bias.
    Can you point to a time when it wasn't?
     
  38. Ellis Vener wrote: "Can you point to a time when it" (journalism) "wasn't?"

    Yes. It was during the lost nanosecond in 2002 when the world time clocks recalibrated. The world was perfect in that moment. Like death.

    Art is not journalism. Writing history is not fiction writing. Now if only the historians and journalists could get that straight. But the winners write history. Journalist write about art.

    It's all pretty messed up.
     
  39. Thomas: "Me, I shoot and let the viewer decide but then again, I don't do journalism where, to me, the editor/wallet decides."

    The wallet decides? Does it talk to you, too? Don't you get strange stares from people hearing voices emanate from the region of your back pocket?
     
  40. "The wallet decides? Does it talk to you, too?"

    Nope. It don't talk, just makes decisions and when it's done deciding, I see a 35L in my wintery future.

    It's great watching these papers crash and burn for their jounalistic sins. Imagine, being a victim of your own devices. What a concept.

    Some like to think it's the fault of the internet and the American auto manufactures liked to think in the 70's, that it was the fault of the Japanese auto manufactures.

    "Does it make a difference whether our work is expected to be factual or if it might be thought of as representational or even abstract?"

    It don't matter what I think when creating an artistic image as it's the viewer's prejudices/bias's which completes the process, not mine.
     
  41. John Stafford, interesting to hear about the Blackstone Rangers. I remember seeing
    'Almighty Blackstone Rangers' written on a wall in Chicago while visiting as a child.

    You say history writing is not fiction. OK. But history writing could be descibed as the
    writing of drama. Philosophical questions are involved. For instance, is the current Israelo-
    Palestinian conflict inevitable, or the product of free will? Machiavelli would say war cannot
    be avoided, only delayed to the advantage of one side or another. Someone else might say
    permanent peace were possible. Some people see one side or the other as responsible.
    Some see the colonial powers as responsible for the way they divied things up a long time
    ago. The facts pale in the face of dilemnas faced by the characters in the tragedy. Or the
    comedy, depending upon how you see it.
     
  42. Kevin You say history writing is not fiction. OK. But history writing could be descibed as the writing of drama. Philosophical questions are involved. For instance, is the current Israelo- Palestinian conflict inevitable, or the product of free will? Machiavelli would say war cannot be avoided, only delayed to the advantage of one side or another.
    Consider Machiavelli's intended reader.
    If one considers the writing of history as mere drama, then he's in a different generation than mine. My life experience predates popular TV and its penchant for entertainment over information.
    Regarding the Israel conflict: It is a part of the world that's been claimed and reclaimed so often and for so long by the same deeply ingrained motives that this is just a recycled blip in history.
    Question of free-will? Free-will is a matter of degree dependent upon personal resources of the mind and personal resources, otherwise it's just another philosopher's touchstone to cheap and easy scholarship. Someone else might say permanent peace [...]
    And someone will swear that monkeys fly out of his ass, and he may as well be right, however he doesn't belong in office, but he is.
    How do I get back to photography here?
     
  43. How do I get back to photography here?By gewtting awayfrom photo.net and its ilk. Something I am going to try to do for the next week. And if I can stay away for a week, I'll try it for a second week.
     
  44. Ellis Vener: "How do I get back to photography here?By gewtting awayfrom photo.net and its ilk."

    Good idea. I'm home recovering from an illness. Time to go outside regardless.

    Maybe we need a 12-step progam or something. Not.
     
  45. I would not call drama 'mere drama.' Nor would I say free will were just a matter of money
    and education. Greek tragedy is not a television show. It is far older than you. It is the
    moment the idea of free will makes its entrance into Western culture. Everything great in
    Western culture is the result of the idea of free will. A discussion of free will is relevant to
    the notion of bias in journalism an well as to the writing of history. If you believe things
    happen because they are inevitable, then you will have a different idea of personal
    responsibility or guilt than someone who believes action is freely chosen. No journalism or
    history writing is merely a collection of facts. Such a collection would be too atomized to
    be coherent. Data must be interpreted. Usually to figure out who is right, and who is
    wrong.

    And your cliche about history being written by the victors does not bear up under
    examination. French and American journalists and photographers have produced definitive
    works about Vietnam.
     
  46. Mike Dixon said: "I find it unsettling that you seem to sincerely believe that the images you choose to take to present things as you see them (or as you want them to be seen) are unbiased images. Restricting yourself to shooting only flattering images while avoiding shots where the bride looks unhappy, bored, or tired is just as biased as only capturing unflattering images."

    Your view of "bias" is so narrow as to be meaningless. For example to refer to my intention to order coke over Pepsias bias diminishes the term to the point of meaninglessness. The bias of which we speak must be consequential to have any import at all.

    Your assertion that I believe my images are not biased is equally absurd. I said no such thing. I simply dismiss this minor influence on my pictures as insignificant and its effect on the news inconsequential. But the application of journalistic and artistic judgment to the process of taking a picture is essential.

    Any discussion of bias must rely on intent and action in a matter of consequence or it is simply complaining about what amounts to nothing.

    I will continue to make the bride look good, not photograph bodies at traffic accidents and refrain from putting my 18mm lens in the face of a grieving person. If that amounts to bias for you then I will in your eyes stand convicted. Of course it would be a conviction of which I would be excessively proud. And guess who's side the readers of the paper would be on.
     
  47. Rick, your own view of what constitutes significant bias is much more narrow and restricted than mine. I'm following a fairly conventional definition such as this one take from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
    "a : BENT, TENDENCY b : an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment : PREJUDICE c : an instance of such prejudice d (1) : deviation of the expected value of a statistical estimate from the quantity it estimates (2) : systematic error introduced into sampling or testing by selecting or encouraging one outcome or answer over others
    Returning to your example of the society wedding: What if the father of the bride was a lecherous alcoholic who groped the bridesmaids at every opportunity, the groom was a dimwitted inheritance baby who couldn't hold down a job at Burger King if left on his own, and the bride was a shrill and caustic bitch who no one but a halfwit would ever tolerate: do smiling pictures of bride give a fair and unbiased view of this event?
    I will continue to make the bride look good, not photograph bodies at traffic accidents and refrain from putting my 18mm lens in the face of a grieving person. If that amounts to bias for you then I will in your eyes stand convicted. Of course it would be a conviction of which I would be excessively proud. And guess who's side the readers of the paper would be on.
    Satisfying the expectations of your viewers (and your editors) is wise choice if your goal is preserving your livelihood. But it doesn't mean that you are free from bias--in fact, it indicates that their is a particular set of expectations you are trying to meet with the photos you create. It's the same thing that paparazzi do, the same thing that right-wing propagandists do, and the same thing that left-wing propagandists do; you're just trying to satisfy a different market.
    Again, what's so unsettling is that you refuse to see this as a significant bias in your work. Take another look at John Stafford's post at July 19, 2006; 12:55 p.m.
     
  48. A discussion of free will is relevant to the notion of bias in journalism an well as to the writing of history.
    How relevant is 'free will' particularly relevant to the notion of bias? You have it or not. Is that it?
    Please try to explain in a paragraph that doesn't look like a misformatted list of writers' digest's examples of poor opening sentences.
    You might begin with, "Free will is".
     
  49. "How relevant is 'free will' particularly relevant..." You should talk about bad sentences,
    John Stafford. I will not be so uncharitable as to recommend that YOU took a remedial
    English course.

    If you believe free will exists you believe you can act outside of your own self-interest,
    your instincts and appetites, nature, God, the gods, the wheel of history, the economy.
    You believe yourself to be the source of your decisions and responsible for them. You are
    not a pawn of history or the historical dialectic or destiny or fatal love.

    An example of free will would be the decision to love someone. Not a certain person you
    were fated to love, but someone you chose to love. The important thing would be THAT
    you loved, not whom.

    The Bush administration believes muslims can embrace democracy. Some columnists
    suggest Islam is incompatible with democracy. If you were raised in Islam, you cannot
    change course. Iraqis just do not want us there because they just do not want democracy
    or an open society. This is a form of fatalism. It suggests you knew the outcome
    in advance.

    The French believe the war cannot be won. Jacques Chirac says the Iraqi culture should be
    respected. I think he means Western-style democracy just will not take in Iraq. Maybe the
    French are right. Whatever the case, it
    effects the way they cover the war in Iraq. They have been skeptical since the beginning.
    They emphasize the hardships and the casualties, the bombings, the slow grind of daily
    death.
    The interesting kind of bias in news coverage is your philosophical bias. What you
    believe possible. How you think life works. Not whether you are rooting for Hannity or
    Coulter on the nightly media circus. Not whether you are rooting for the Chicago police or
    the Blackstone Rangers.
     
  50. Replying to Kevin Farrell:
    I wrote that in the wee hours of the morning. I'm laid up sick. So I screwed up a sentence. Shoot me. But first, before I get sick and have to stop because of the meds that are curing me, please read on.
    Your sense of free will is clear now. I maintain that it is limited by one's personal resources; what he knows, believes, and that frames how he interacts with the world or universe.
    There are many ways one can try to understand the world. One is from action to beliefs, world views. To me that is the only way to view large phenonema - from the effect to possible causes. Remedies are made from the other direction - change the cause, the world view, and you change behavior, action.
    I will remind you that the USA is not a democracy, and by the Bush administration's actions it appears that its philosophy is to defeat the the ideals of our Republic in order to make the administration less answerable than it was before.
    The way the war is covered in the USA is hugely influenced by the nature of the marketing of American media which is largely concerned with satisfying the entertainment requisites of the population. Further, there is a dynamic between the so-called American media and goverment that is almost impossible for the average, less-than-astute person to see, much less understand. It is like "professional wrestling" but with an audience that doesn't understand the fiction. It is a collaboration of false denial, but the outcome is a fully cooperative effort to dumb-down the population, enhance the power of simple words, fools' dynamics. The discourse between "media" and government is symbiotic. It does not matter what "the media" believes but what the media really is in our society and how it acts.
    Regarding war - you ain't going to change the world view of Islam by killing its people using exactly the instruments their culture despises as a matter of funamental belief, religion. First, killing is verboten, and second Western technology and materialism is their idea of a path to evil. The war has hardened those who might have been 'live and let live' persons, radicalized the marginals.
    Vietnam offered the West two important lessons. First, he who will fight to the death of every single citizen will win. Second, you guarantee the perpetuation of the enemy's commitment by killing the parents of children and family who will grow up to hate you forever. It is self feeding.
    Now, on photography who can deny the evocative power of some of the most fine action photos of Magnum's photographers in the Middle East? Is it good photography? I suppose in the graphic-arts sense it is. In a cogent moment Eugene Smith once said that his pictures of war and tragedy were too pretty. Certainly, the work in question touches the sensibilities of the artist, the photographer struggling to master his instrument, but it is almost worthless to those who seek information.
     
  51. Mike Dixon said: "Returning to your example of the society wedding: What if the father of the bride was a lecherous alcoholic who groped the bridesmaids at every opportunity, the groom was a dimwitted inheritance baby who couldn't hold down a job at Burger King if left on his own, and the bride was a shrill and caustic bitch who no one but a halfwit would ever tolerate: do smiling pictures of bride give a fair and unbiased view of this event?"

    Actually yes they do. All of the other stuff, though juicy gossip, is not news. You may personally delight in those things and if you do you have wonderful sources for that info in either tabloids or idle gossip. A society wedding picture is about WHAT happened. We are a newspaper not a tabloid.


    Mike said: "Satisfying the expectations of your viewers (and your editors) is wise choice if your goal is preserving your livelihood. But it doesn't mean that you are free from bias--in fact, it indicates that their is a particular set of expectations you are trying to meet with the photos you create. It's the same thing that paparazzi do, the same thing that right-wing propagandists do, and the same thing that left-wing propagandists do; you're just trying to satisfy a different market."

    You lumping all journalistic discretion together with outright propaganda is the same thing as lumping murderers with shoplifters. After all they are both criminals.

    In your last few posts I see a fairly common thought process that defies the evidence. That somehow the media, advertisers and the government are in cahoots. You even assert that this is a deliberate attempt to "dumb-down" America. The idea is patently absurd. It draws to mind thousands of publishers, producers, agency managers and bureaucrats linked by red phones. No such conspiracy exists. Can big advertisers influence small media outlets? Probably. But not enough to cover up big stories. They may be protected from cheap-shots but not serious malfeasance. The 'media' took on Ford over the explorer in the face of billion plus dollar advertising campaign. And cost Ford dearly. Powerful government people are slammed every day. The war is almost universally excoriated. CBS took a crippling hit over its attempted slime job on Bush.

    Remember. We get advertisers by giving them the news they want to see. If we throw snow balls at our 'pals' we loose readers. When that happens we can't demand high advertising rates. We risk just as much by coddling our advertisers as we do by slamming them when it is newsworthy. And advertisers, likewise need us for the access we provide to customers. They advertise with us or risk ceding the space to their competitors. It�s not personal. It�s just business.

    So we choose to suck-up to whoever is running this conspiracy? And we let our competition scoop us? Suppress a story and "see what happens". Think about that. Give up a chance to break a major local or national story? Why? So we can "dumb-down" America at the expense of our advertising revenues not to mention integrity?

    To steel a line from Shakespeare:

    �O, Kate,� Henry replies, �nice customs curtsey to great kings. Dear Kate, we cannot be confined within the weak list of a country�s fashion. We are the makers of manners, Kate, and the liberty that follows our places stops the mouths of fault-finders.�

    True? Ask Nixon. Or Dow Chemical�. Or�..

    Shakespeare�s admonition is true collectively of that vast machine we call the media. The media in all of its variety and depth. We have so much information in this country that we sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. Fox news is wildly popular at a time when it is widely held that the media is "liberal". And this success has spawned counter claims that the media is a tool of big business, the tri-lateral commission, the illuminati or whatever other demon suits the inflamed writer's imagination.

    To lay the "dumbing-down" of America at the feet of the media is true only to this extent. We have presided over the collapse of our education system without firing a shot. That is until the pundits like Bill O'rielly and Amy Goodman come along to wake us from our torpor. Care to guess what the Georgian press was saying about Franklyn and Paine?

     
  52. Care to guess what the Georgian press was saying about Franklyn and Paine?
    BY "Georgian" I believe that John is referring to Great Britain in the era of King George III in the late 18th century (1700s). And not the State of Georgia (USA) or the Republic of Georgia (formerly part of the USSR). A free press is only free to those who own a printing press --or that and the technologically modern equivalents: a television station, a radio station or an internet connection. And in the latter case its only true if you are fortunate enough to live in a country where the goverment cannot disconnect you or put you in jail or much worse for saying things they do not want said.
     
  53. Rick, your attempts to change my words with yours won't work. Your comments are all over the map. Seems you must be accustomed to throwing out a lot of stuff to let someone else pick and choose or edit. That doesn't work with me.

    You are either a neutered hack apologist with a camera or a photojournalist. Do you know what makes the difference?
     
  54. John Stafford said: "You are either a neutered hack apologist with a camera or a photojournalist. Do you know what makes the difference?"

    If you feel the proper method of discussion is insult we can go there if you like. Perhaps a better course of action is to let you continue your pontificating and ad hominum attacks without a response.

    As they say. Never wrestle with a pig. You'll just get dirty and the pig likes it.

    Or perhaps you prefer the all-to typical tactic these days, by people of a certain philosophical bent, to simply resort to name-calling when their wits fail them.
     
  55. Rick, what ticked me off was the fact that you took a stereotypical knee-jerk reaction by declaring that I was speaking of a conspiracy.
    That kind of stuff we can all get on any crap talk show. It's a typical dodge from attempting to understand.

    Perhaps my language was not clear. The media/government relationship is not a conspiracy. I was speaking of the outcome of their relationship. It is symbiotic, relatively unexamined. Each benefits from the other without necessary cooperation.

    So, I'm sorry I flipped out. If you pull that kind of *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* again, I'll just ignore you. Deal?
     
  56. Dick argues, way at the top, that reporters and photographers are expected to be objective as humanly possible, but editorial stance dictates otherwise...and asked how do we look at this philosophically as photographers and photo artists. I take this to mean,how do we,as consumers of this stuff and makers of images look at it or compensate for it. Of course, Rick takes strong exception, that working pros tell it like it is and he and John (I think) are offended by that word "bias." Stop me if I got that wrong. I like perspective better than bias. I know that New York Times has a perspective, Guardian has a perspective, Christian Monitor has a perspective, and Tony Snow displays a perspective. I think,Dick Hilker,that "truth" is a compound of looking at a bunch of sources,including NPR (my daily fix) and looking at Consumer Reports on autos, and taking the whole bunch as working information. I am pleased that I don't need to get all my info from Al Jazeerah,or from the O'Reilly Factor, or the Huffington Post,,.

    The next thing we have to visualize,Dick, down the lane, is something even more fascinating than Ann Coulter and her strident bookselling. Any of us,-Dick, Rick, John,Ellis, can soon become a news source WITH PHOTOS, by blogging. Now how will that impact Truth, Justice, and the American Way (don't sneer). Apologies please to Clark Kent, and Jimmy Olson,square shooting pj:)
    Aloha,Gerry
     
  57. All of the other stuff, though juicy gossip, is not news. You may personally delight in those things and if you do you have wonderful sources for that info in either tabloids or idle gossip. A society wedding picture is about WHAT happened. We are a newspaper not a tabloid.
    Rick, are you capable of addressing my arguments without making negative insinuations about me? That's been your strategy in every reply so far.
    I'd agree that lurid details about the wedding are gossip, but I'd hardly say that smiling shots of a bride constitute "news." The typical, two-line wedding announcement conveys the factual content of the "story." Shots of smiling brides are nothing but PR. You've already made it clear that you're going into the event with a predetermined idea of what you're going to present to your readers. Those pictures make the bride's family happy and they entertain your readership, but it's a hell of a stretch to call it news. PR shots, by their very nature, are biased.
    You lumping all journalistic discretion together with outright propaganda is the same thing as lumping murderers with shoplifters. After all they are both criminals.
    You were the one who raised the issue of satisfying the expectations of your readership. I merely pointed out that that's the same thing paparazzi and others do--that it's certainly no defense of your unbiased status. Would you argue that, since shoplifters aren't the same as murderers, they aren't actually criminals?
    Remember. We get advertisers by giving them the news they want to see. If we throw snow balls at our 'pals' we loose readers. . . . It?s not personal. It?s just business.
    You really don't see how this creates a significant bias in reporting?
     
  58. Rick, what newspaper do you work for? I'd like to read the ads.
     
  59. Never mind, Rick. I think I found it. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Green Valley News and Sun. Green Valley, Arizona.

    Interesting place. Median age is 72. I can imagine that what a hotbed of controversy Green Valley is, the activism, hormones run wild. Are the Grey Panthers still a lot of trouble there?

    The most dangerous thing in Green Valley is the median-age drivers backing over median-age pedestrians.

    But I did enjoy the pictures of the classic car meet. Tricky photography; I couldn't see the props you used to keep the patrons from tipping over.

    And the sports photography! Direct, on-camera flash! Shades of Weegee? Is Green Valley a secret bastion of high culture?
     
  60. Near the beginning of this thread Ellis referred to a "British pj" who "filled out a crowd of
    Iraqi's and put weapons in the hands of people who in other sections of the picture didn't
    have weapons". Who is this photographer Ellis? What was the outcome when this was
    discovered? Do you have any links?

    Rick: "I will continue to make the bride look good, not photograph bodies at traffic
    accidents and refrain from putting my 18mm lens in the face of a grieving person."

    I've no opinion on the issue of making the bride look good, but why wouldn't you
    "photograph bodies at traffic accidents"? This seems a mighty strange stance for a news
    photographer. Would you take the same approach in, say, Iraq? If the answer's yes then
    you're the ideal "embed" - the military would love to have you along for the ride. I also find
    it strange that you wouldn't photograph a grieving person. I understand that there are
    many reasons (relating both to the victim and the photographer) to find this a distasteful/
    cruel act but surely it's part of the job of a news photographer. I'm curious, if you think
    this is wrong, what do you make of the work of people like Peress, Nactwey, and Delahaye?
     
  61. So John. Insults work for you. OK. Have it your way. But of course you don't display any of your work. Do you have any to show? Where are you published? Who pays you for photography John?

    I suspect you are just the typical amateur hiding behind the anonymity of the internet so you can pontificate as if you really were a professional photographer? Would you prefer we knew you as a programmer working in the library of a college or do you prefer programmer/analyst? Is that you John? And you presume to lecture a working professional with years of experience on how to take a picture. Get real man.

    You don't post your pictures because you don't have any. Right John? Or are you afraid of criticism by those of us who know the difference?

    So my friend from pop 27K Minnesota. That is you, right? Let me know the next time you win a journalism award. Letメs share stories about international photojournalism. Letメs compare notes when your photo is on the front page of a major national daily. We can have fun comparing our daily photojournalism work. You can show me all of the pictures you have published this week. Letメs stand in the rain together at the scene of a disaster. Why don't we both lean on the ring at a title fight. Or maybe we could cover some professional sports together. All you need is your press pass and we can be buddies. Maybe you can give me some pointers. I look forward to it.

    But if I can't get my email to work you don't mind if I ask you to help do you?

    This your idea of fun on a forum John? At least now people will know to put your comments into perspective.

    You insult me and my paper. You should have said papers BTW. (Your demographics are not even close either) Did you mention my company's 32 other newspapers and 23 specialty publications? Radio? While you are googling why don't you list the other publications where I am published? Maybe you could mention my recent calendar project while you are handling my PR. And I am crushed. Not a single plug for my event and portrait work. You are not a very good PR man after all.

    I think it is great to be a computer programmer. I don't know much about it but I respect the professionalism of those who do it for a living. It doesnメt diminish me at all to admit that there are any number of professions about which I know little. I rather admire the expertise of others and enjoy learning from them. You might try it.
     
  62. Welcome to The Twilight Zone.
     
  63. Boris: I don't photograph dead bodies at car acciedents because we don't publish them. I know of few papers that do. Covering a war is an entirely different matter. So might be a particularly important crime scene.

    I would not "imbed" with the US military because I beleive it is an obvious, though effective, way to manipulate the press. It is dangerous for the soldiers and presents a way to restrictive view of military operations. It does make for some whiz-bang sound bites for the broadcast media though.

    I don't shove my camera into the face of a grieving person out of respect for their privacy. (I would consider doing it and have done it so I should have said that it is not my normal practice to do so).

    Peres freely admits that his take is different from the mainstream photojournalist. He compares his work to that of the forensic photographer if I recall. He is brilliant. His work in Rwanda and Bosnia was fascinating.

    I am not squeemish. There is a very important place for graphic imagry and I would not shy away from it. The scene of a local traffic accident does not present the "justification" for shocking the reader that a war, pestellance or disaster does. It is, IMO, a judgment call. And it is never, in the end, my call. Editors decide what gets in and what does not. And I know my editors pretty well.

    I very much respect the work of Peres and particularly James Nachtwey. I am not, I am sad to admit, in their league at all. Maybe someday.
     
  64. "I don't shove my camera into the face of a grieving person out of respect for their privacy.
    (I would consider doing it and have done it so I should have said that it is not my normal
    practice to do so).....I am not squeemish. There is a very important place for graphic
    imagry and I would not shy away from it. The scene of a local traffic accident does not
    present the "justification" for shocking the reader that a war, pestellance or disaster does."

    I think it's less about the level of "justification" and more about the fact that the American
    media have a lower level of "respect" for the lives of those who aren't American. There was
    huge hypocrisy at the time of the invasion of Iraq with condemnation of Al-Jazeera for
    showing images of American prisoners/casualties while the American media were doing
    the very same thing with regard to Iraqi prisoners/casualties. The US media is happy to
    show bodies, just so long as they're the bodies of "foreigners".
     
  65. T.S. Eliot said, There is more to culture than anyone can be aware of. In other words, no
    one
    can get outside his own culture enough to see it in its entirety. We cannot separate
    ourselves from our culture. We are enveloped in it. It has us, we do not have it. We can
    never see the extent to which culture affects our judgments and our actions. Often what
    we
    imagine to be personal opinions or judgments are really the product of culture.

    I think another way to say culture might be to say bias. And the extent and depth of bias is
    such that no one could ever locate it all, much less remove it.

    Culture has a lot to do with trying to find right and wrong in an amoral world. Human
    beings do not seem to be able to live without some kind of system of morality. We cannot
    accept nature's chaos, so we try to impose a sense of good and evil, or, at least, of just
    and unjust. I hold that beneath the surface of history writing and journalism lies an effort
    to separate victims from perpetrators and the guilty from the innocent. This is a way to try
    to understand an incomprehensible world. To take a side is a way to see.
     
  66. rickSo John. Insults work for you. OK. Have it your way. But of course you don't display any of your work. Do you have any to show?
    I retired from photography many years ago. I am sixty years-old, so that left a good amount of time to work in newspaper and magazine photography. I left to study other interests.
    I posted a pertinent image rather recently but the thread in which the picture appeared seems to have been deleted. Very strange. Did you have something to do with that?
    Rather than answering your every challenge regarding experience which would take us off-topic and bore the others, I will relax and let the facts become clear in time. In time, my man, in time you will see.
    Regarding the demographics, well I posted what was in your paper's web page. Blame them. Yes, your paper is part of Wick's bag of others. I know. Again, I will sit back and let you brag...and learn later.
     
  67. Ach. The thread with photo I referred to is online but you have to search for it. It doesn't appear otherwise. And worse, it is under my Nome d' Plume. I'll pay for that mess-up.<p>
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/big-image?bboard_upload_id=31075184
     
  68. "I posted a pertinent image rather recently..."

    As a suggestion, set yourself up a Photo.net gallery so we can see some of your images.
     
  69. "..., is there a point at which his perspective becomes a biased view?"

    I'd have to say that all images have a biased view but is this necessarily a bad thing which is what I think you're really alluding to and how do the bias' of the viewer of the biased image come into play; muddying the waters ever further.

    "As artists who wield cameras instead of brushes or chisels, is there a greater burden on us to be free of prejudice simply because of the old adage that "cameras don't lie"?"

    Did Dali, who used brushes, free himself up from his prejudices?

    Why this need to free up from ingrained/learned prejudices and bias' as this is what makes up the artist's soul?
     
  70. I agree with you, Thomas, that an artist's bias is an integral part of his work. It's interesting that, although Dali never used a camera, he had a healthy respect for photography. In his essay, "Photographic Data" he said:

    "The photograph is capable of realizing the most complete, scrupulous and moving catalogue that man has ever been able to imagine. From the subtlety of aquaria to the fastest, most fleeting gestures of wild animals, the photograph affords us a thousand fragmentary images culminating in a dramatized cognitive totalization. The spire of a Cathedral, at a height of ten meters from the ground, in constant darkness, is revealed to us by the photograph with that very fineness of detail, made possible only by the skillful photogenic quality to which the photographer can subject things, by which he enables us, finally, to know them. In addition to the implacable rigor to which photographic data subject our mind, they are always and essentially the surest vehicle of poetry and the most agile process for perceiving the most delicate osmoses that are established between reality and surreality.

    The mere fact of the photographic transposition already implies a total invention: the registering of an unknown reality. Nothing has come to prove surrealism more correct than photography. Oh Zeiss, lens so full of uncommon faculties of surprise!"
     
  71. Rick Said :"It is, IMO, a judgment call. And it is never, in the end, my call. Editors decide what gets in and what does not. And I know my editors pretty well."


    Isn't that a bias? Doesn't that influence what you shoot and how you shoot it?
     
  72. Who is this photographer Ellis? What was the outcome when this was discovered? Do you have any links?
    I had the story a but wrong. It was an American photographer on hte staff of the Los Angeles Times, Brian Walski, and he was immediately fired when this fakery was discovered. Here are some links:
    http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=28082
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/030409.htm
    http:// www.camerairaq.com/2003/03/the_los_angeles.html
    And you can find mor by pointing your favorite search engine at "brian walski" It is too bad he decided to do this as he is clearly a very talented and sensitive photojornalist, in 2001 he was the Californis Press Photography Association's "Photographer of the Year". There is a gallery of the work that one the award at http:// www.cppaonline.org/2001poy/gallery.htm
    I was perhaps confusing the story with another doctored photo, this time from the London Evening Standard:
    http://www.thememoryhole.org/media/evening-standard- crowd.htm
     
  73. This is a very interesting site for those of us who aren't actually working photojourlism
    grunts stationed in Iraq:

    http://www.camerairaq.com/
     
  74. Thanks for the lonk, Ellis -- it certainly shows the degree to which agenda-serving bias has gone to depict our efforts in Iraq as an unmitigated horror show. Whatever happened to balanced reporting?

    Oh, that's right -- it doesn't sell papers!
     
  75. What we are doing in iraq isn't an unmitigated horror show. There are individual soldiers
    and commanders there who are doing a great deal to help the Iraqi and Kurdish people.

    It is just too damn bad that Bush+Cheney+Rumsfeld and their very close advisors screwed
    up in the first placve and still don't have a clue as to how should have been waged and still
    should b waged. I nthe meantime we have strengthedthe hand of the fnantical leadership
    in Iran in two ways: elimianted Saddam, who terrible though h e was (and needed to be
    deposed) wasstil la check on Iranian aggression; and the increased level of turmoil in the
    region has driven up the price of oil, directly greatly enriching the Iranian goverment and
    through them Hezbollah and Hamas and perhaps other Islamic terrorists as well.

    I'm not one of those fools who sees a grand conspiracy here , just a lot of smug stupidity.
     
  76. What we are doing in iraq [...]
    What do you mean we?
    Are you there, Elis?
     
  77. Pico,

    The whole world is involved in that fight whether you wish to be or not. I'm just doing my
    best not to fall into either side of the trap of a false dichotomy.
     
  78. The whole world is involved in that fight whether you wish to be or not. I'm just doing my best not to fall into either side of the trap of a false dichotomy.
    I am just glad you are not there in the path of death.
     
  79. We all live in the path of death. Our perspective is our bias.
    00HNcs-31315184.jpg
     
  80. Ellis: "I had the story a but wrong. It was an American photographer on hte staff of the Los
    Angeles Times, Brian Walski, and he was immediately fired when this fakery was
    discovered"

    A bit wrong? The only thing that was correct was that a photographer had used Photoshop
    to alter an image and was rumbled. He wasn't a Brit, he didn't "fill out" a crowd, and he
    didn't put weapons in the hands of those who didn't have them. None of this justifies
    Walski's actions which were appalling, but, given the theme of the thread, it's difficult not
    to see an irony in how casually and thoughtlessly you referred to the "British pj".

    "It is too bad he decided to do this as he is clearly a very talented and sensitive
    photojornalist, in 2001 he was the Californis Press Photography Association's
    "Photographer of the Year""

    Where some see "talent" and "sensitivity" others might see a long seated tendency towards
    "staginess" - there's a disturbing amount of eyecontact going on between the camera and
    subjects in some of his earlier images (if you look at the work of any major league
    reportage photographer this is something you seldom see); there's also some oddly radical
    cropping (again, something you rarely see from a credible reportage photographer).
    Having said that, I feel a great deal of sympathy for Walski (by all accounts a decent man)
    who's really just a product of a disfunctional culture amongst American press
    photographers. A great deal of hot air is spouted (from the NPPA and others) about the
    ethical nature of US news photography and the heavy price that those who transgress the
    code will pay. The reality is that on a daily basis images are staged and misleadingly
    captioned (traits which are a lot more worrying than clumsy PS deceit). Everybody turns a
    blind eye. Why? Because if the extent of the deceit was acknowledged there would be a
    total collapse of the industry. The US is far from being the worst offender in misleading
    images, but where it does stand out is in it's overweening and misplaced selfsatisfaction.

    "What we are doing in iraq isn't an unmitigated horror show"

    There speaks a man who clearly hasn't visited post-invasion Iraq. When you talk about
    "we" it really is worth considering the fact that this is an international forum. I don't know
    whether you consider yourself to be a journalist or a PR photographer, but if it's the
    former you should be ashamed at identifying so closely with the actions of your
    government.

    I won't have access to the internet for a few days, but I'll be interested to see your
    response.
     
  81. What possible response can I make to a man who already has his mind made up?

    You don't know where I've been or what I've seen or who I know.

    And exactly how much time have you spent in Iraq or Afghanistan?
     
  82. When Colin Powell presented his slide show at the UN in 2003,there were no doctored photos that I recollect. The photos of trailers on rail were real. The photos of aluminum tubes were real. The movement to and from buildings was real.

    As in "Rashomon,"one can spin a story every which way and that hasn't changed from the campfires of Neantherdals. I am not persuaded that "the clear editorial stance of most (!) mainstream media " using Dick's term, is to push a point of view, but I believe that SOME big mainstream media/infotainment outlets have pushed very hard that way and closely aligned with the institutional powers that be. Bad.
    We are now deriding our Fourth Estate en masse,gents,that is troubling or vexing at least. Cause they and we are the chroniclers around the campfires...what do we advise the grandkids to believe?
     
  83. "...what do we advise the grandkids to believe?"

    What I've taught my son..... "A person is what they do, not what they say."

    You can cash that check everyday of the week.
     
  84. Ellis: "What possible response can I make"

    Ideally, you could make a rational, informed, and therefore convincing response. If that
    was beyond you then you could've
    just made an entertaining response.

    "to a man who already has his mind made up?"

    If I was as closed minded as you imply I would have shot you down in flames way back at
    the beginning of the thread when you made your strange and unfounded allegations
    against the "British pj". I assumed you were confusing (either accidentally or
    deliberately) this with the Walski incident, but
    gave you the benefit of the doubt and calmly asked you for more details before
    challenging you. The Walski/LA Times affair is so
    well known that it seems mighty strange that you imagined a European to be at the
    center of it. I'll reiterate, on a thread relating to perspective and bias you shouldn't be
    shocked at being challenged on this.

    "You don't know where I've been or what I've seen or who I know."

    True. Although I do have a fairly shrewd idea where you haven't been and who you don't
    know (in any meaningful way).

    "And exactly how much time have you spent in Iraq or Afghanistan?"

    At the point my argument becomes so weak that, like you, I have to bolster it with
    reference to my "25 years as a working photojournalist" I'll be happy to give you a detailed
    list of where I've worked. Maybe you can point me in the direction of some of your
    reportage work - I've looked at your website and it seems to be that of a corporate
    photographer.

    As for your comments about Coulter, you don't seem to grasp that (just like Michael
    Moore) she's competing as an entertainer - not a journalist. Personally, I like Coulter, just
    as I like Moore, just as I like Bill O'Reilly. If unimaginative and credulous American liberals
    hadn't spent so much time raging against Fox and Coulter they might have noticed the
    truly damaging poison coming from supposedly serious figures like Judith Miller at the
    Times.....
     
  85. "I assumed you were confusing (either accidentally or deliberately) this with the Walski
    incident, but gave you the benefit of the doubt and calmly asked you for more details
    before challenging you. The Walski/LA Times affair is so well known that it seems mighty
    strange that you imagined a European to be at the center of it. I'll reiterate, on a thread
    relating to perspective and bias you shouldn't be shocked at being challenged on this."

    I apologize for insulting the integretity of all working british press photographers. My
    slight was not deliberate, it resulted from a lapse in memory. Which I rectified by pointimg
    to two real cases. The Walski incident is well know in journalism circles but not in the
    public at large. I was not shocked at being challenged on this. Thank you for pointing out


    "I do have a fairly shrewd idea where you haven't been and who you don't know (in any
    meaningful way)."

    Blind speculation on your part.

    "Maybe you can point me in the direction of some of your reportage work - I've looked at
    your website and it seems to be that of a corporate photographer."

    That is because it is was deliberately targeted towards corporate clients. I have worked for
    : Bunt, The Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Texas Monthly, Mother Jones, U.S./ Latin
    Trade, the New York Times, and a fist full of other pubblications and I've been represented
    by woodfin Camp and Associates. I've covered politics and business in Mexico, migration
    issues, labor issues, the Klu Klux Klan, Political conventions, state politics, Pro and anti-
    abortion politics, Labor strikes and strike breakers, drug dealing and poverty in Houston's
    4th ward, religion (large and small, medicine, science, technology, death penalty protests,
    miusic, performing arts (Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Opera , Houston Ballet,
    The Alley Theatre), police abuse, and that is the stuff that comes easily to mind from the
    past ten years. I 've been shot at by drug dealers and bikers, beaten by a DPS officer in
    Texas and threatened with arrest by other cops. blah-blah-blah.

    "As for your comments about Coulter, you don't seem to grasp that (just like Michael
    Moore) she's competing as an entertainer - not a journalist. Personally, I like Coulter, just
    as I like Moore, just as I like Bill O'Reilly. If unimaginative and credulous American liberals
    hadn't spent so much time raging against Fox and Coulter they might have noticed the
    truly damaging poison coming from supposedly serious figures like Judith Miller at the
    Times....."

    since you are not in hte USa you obviously don't grasp the damage that is done by people
    like Coulter, Limbaugh and O'Reilly. Far more people know and allegedly trust their views
    o nthe world than have eveer heard of Judith Miller who worked for a publicatio nthat
    coulter , et al regualrl ydescribe as worthless and not worth bothering with. (Coulter has
    obviously done something worse than that. I find those people entertaining too -- but I
    also see the damage their poisoning of the public well as caused. I am much more worried
    about the fundamental damage that Cheney and his aide David Addington have tried to do
    to the US Constitution in their cause of setting up an imperial presidency that is
    accountable to no one. there is a good article on this in the July 3 2006 issue of the New
    Yorker magazine.

    The people I fear most are those who want to stir up chaos and anarchy becaasue chaos
    and anarchy are always followed by tyrrany. Need examples? In the 20th century look at
    Lenin and Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the Taliban.
     
  86. They may spend time in golf carts,but they vote...Ask John McCain. Less stereotyping of who are the cultural torch carriers, sans IPODs.
     
  87. "you are not in hte USa you obviously don't grasp the damage that is done by people like Coulter, Limbaugh and O'Reilly."

    I for one like the damage they're preventing but this is suppose to be a forum about the philosophy of photography, not the; I "hate" (as in lacking tolerance) the right forum.

    It's funny how little "any" of the myriad of talking heads, left or right, affects one's life in America when you turn their swirl off. It's even funnier how little these talking heads affect photographic artistic endevors when you concentrate on the philosophy of photography and not their incessant political talking-head prattle. But if polemetry and hate is your goal, ignore the benefits the philosophy of photography has the ability to provide and get sucked into the wonderful world of political pot stirring:)

    I'm enjoying watching my philosophy of photography mature by turning off the hate mongers and worrying about developing my photographic philosophical think, sans political doo-dah:)

    Doo-dah! Doo-dah! :)
     
  88. Ellis, thanks for replying.

    "The Walski incident is well know in journalism circles but not in the public at large"

    It's because it's so well known in "journalism circles" (which you style yourself as being
    part of) that I was taken aback at you attributing the act to a European. It's now part of
    journalistic folklore. It generated so much attention that it's one of the few incidents of
    journalistic chicanery that's actually fairly well known in the world at large.

    "Blind speculation"

    It's really not that blind. The world of international news assignment photography is
    surprizingly small and incestuous, both in terms of the photographers (although the
    numbers have grown post-Getty) and the people assigning. Everybody knows (or is aware
    of) everybody else.

    "That is because it is was deliberately targeted towards corporate clients."

    That's why I asked if you wanted to point me in the direction of your journalistic work. It
    wasn't an attempt to put you down. There are plenty of photographers with a reportage
    past who now pitch themselves entirely at the corporate market.

    "I've been represented by woodfin Camp and Associates. I've covered politics and business
    in Mexico....I 've been shot at by drug dealers and bikers, beaten by a DPS officer in Texas
    and threatened with arrest by other cops. blah-blah-blah."

    It's been a long, long time since Woody Camp was a player in the editorial market.
    Agencies have been born, died, and reborn (for example - Picture Group, Saba, Redux...)
    in the time since Woodfin Camp had an influence. What you say confirms my impression
    that your experience is limited to North America.

    "since you are not in hte USa you obviously don't grasp the damage that is done by people
    like Coulter, Limbaugh and O'Reilly"

    For what it's worth (not much) I have no permanent home outside of the USA. I'm typing
    this in an Asian hotel suite that I have on a longterm lease as a base in the region. I'm
    currently flipping between CNN, BBC World, Fox, and the Brit news channel Sky; I also have
    access to all the world's newspapers via the internet. I spend time in the USA, I work with
    other Americans, I'm in daily contact with friends and family. I also spend time in Europe.
    The fact that I'm not at this precise moment in the USA doesn't prevent me from having an
    informed perspective on the psyche of the American people. I'd suggest the reverse.
    Without an international perspective it's very hard to assess the state of a nation - you
    have nothing else to compare it to. I genuinely believe that Coulter and her chums amount
    to little more than a freakshow - nothing more than a theatrical distraction while real
    players like
    Miller perform the sleight of hand which has the potential to change history.
     
  89. And thank you for your reply Boris.
     
  90. In all my time of photographing in the Southwest, I must admit I don't have ONE picture of Green Valley. My Girlfriend and I once stopped at the local Safeway however, and marveled at the super-size bottles in the liquor dept. and assumed that alcholism was a major activity there.
     
  91. Funny joke Falkenstein but in poor taste. Really important contribution to a philosophy of photography forum.

    Clearly there are those on this forum who embrace personal attack and insult as valid discussion techniques. I guess that is the nature of the internet. We say things to/about others we wouldn't say face to face.

    I have never seen such unmitigated hate as I have in the liberal/conservative debate in the US and a very significant amount of this outright hate coming from the left. This has clouded our perspective to the point where we really can't debate anymore.

    In the initial post was this sentence: "News reporters and photographers are expected to be as objective as humanly possible...." Is this true? Has it ever been true? I think not. And the public would not know objective reporting if they saw it and would not pay for it if it were available. At least not WRT politics. If I go to Iraq and photograph dead babies the right will accuse me of failing to cover the successes in Iraq. If I photograph health clinics for Iraqi children run by US soldiers I will be accused of pro-war propaganda. There is no middle ground because even if one were scrupulous about balance I maintain not a soul would recognize it.


    "....but the clear editorial stance of most mainstream media suggests otherwise." So then we descend into a discussion of Coulter, Limbaugh, etc. I would add Amy Goodman for balance. Who among is thinks these folks are "Mainstream Media"? They are not reporters at all though Goodman would try and claim that. Coulter is a writer. Limbaugh is a radio talk show host. They are not, nor do they claim to be the news. So if the New York Times carries O'Rielly's column is it a conservative paper? Has its editorial point of view changed? Or is it trying to achieve balance? Or is it making money?

    Think about this. The O'Rielly Factor has been the number one cable news program for over 200 consecutive weeks. His radio program is heard on over 400 stations. His three books have all reached #1 on the NYT bestseller list. One of them a childrenメs book. To dismiss him as a right-wing hack propagandist denies his enormous popularity with a great number of Americans. Most of whom would call him more objective that CBS or NBC. I use him as an example because he clearly illustrates my point about the myth of objectivity. That said.

    The original question went to the bias of the news photographer. Al Sharpton once said when asked if the black community was as racist as the white community "racism requires power, bias can exist without it." I maintain that the everyday photojournalist does not have the power to give their bias vent in any significant way. Editors have some power but not as much as is so widely touted. The vast majority of news stories are objective for all practical purposes. The major stories could be as objective as lady justice herself but they will never be perceived that way.
     
  92. 1). Not really in poor taste. Just factual. Most folks come to Green Valley to live out their last days and to die there. Its Orlando before Disneyland, and I've known it since the early seventies when it was just a dreary tiny place with real estate scammers at work. The view to one direction is beautiful. In the other direction its mine tailings a la Bisbee.
    2). When I photograph I don't worry about bias or perspective. I just photograph them. Whatever they are afterward and whatever text or observation I put with them just "is" my viewpoint of the topic at that time. BTW photographers are not painters or sculptors and are not inferior or superior to them. They are also not artists. They are simply photographers. I find the constant attempts by many folks to read more into their activities as some kind of romantic hangup. Perhaps too many bad art classes in High School or the Gymnasium or that dreaded Eurocentric upbringing in which DWM (Dead White Men) play such a dominant role.
     
  93. Thanks for the excellent perspective, Rick! Your Photo'net bio helps to understand your very professional stance. Maybe it's all as simple as "I have objective perspective and you have a distorted bias -- whatever the subject."
     
  94. Well John we will have to disagree. You obviously have a distorted idea of what retirement means to people. I suspect the huge crop of 40-50 somethings who move here would take exception to your characterization of their move is an effort to "live out their days and die". I suspect that is true of any place someone of whatever you call old age chooses to live. Of course if you were to set aside your prejudices for long enough to come here and visit you would find an educated, vibrant, activist community. Then you would also notice the fastest growing town in Arizona also as you drive by.

    But you see, this is interesting in another way too. You feel free to characterize all of some 30,000 people as 'waiting to die'. An interesting liberty IMO. Just for fun...How would you characterize ALL of the folks who live in Tucson? Harlem?
     
  95. "The vast majority of news stories are objective for all practical purposes"

    This isn't true.

    Do you really believe that people like Murdoch allow their "news" outlets to report
    objectively if it interferes with their longterm business interests? Of course they don't.
    Even taking people like Murdoch out of the equation American journalists report from the
    entrenched received wisdom and prejudices of their upbringing. Just like their European
    equivalents do. Just like their Arab equivalents do. Just like their Chinese equivalents do. If
    there is objectivity at the heart of journalism then it would be difficult to explain the
    pronounced international differences inherent in coverage of, for example, conflict in the
    middle-east.
     
  96. You just don't get it, Boris. Rick exercises journalistic discretion. Other people are biased.
     
  97. Actually Mike, in retrospect I've no idea why I'm engaging him at all. He's the guy who
    claims Coulter's got "great legs". Much as I'd be happy to share my bed with Coulter - who
    doesn't get turned on by rightwing racist cartoon blondes? - only an eternal optimist could
    see those pipecleaners as looking good. He puts such a positive, trusting, and upbeat spin
    on life that I'm starting to think that they put Prozac in the water in Green Valley along
    with the Viagra.
     
  98. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Think about this. The O'Rielly Factor has been the number one cable news program for over 200 consecutive weeks. His radio program is heard on over 400 stations. His three books have all reached #1 on the NYT bestseller list. One of them a children?s book. To dismiss him as a right-wing hack propagandist denies his enormous popularity with a great number of American
    Well think about this. Britney Spears has been a huge success in the music world.
    Well, there you have it. The world of bozo entertainers.
     
  99. Harsh. Why the downer on Britney? Sure, she's not as good as Xtina. And neither's as good
    as the beautiful Kylie. But bozo? I don't think so. Take out your earplugs and check out her
    recent collaboration with Sonic Youth.
     
  100. Manufactured "stars." In a "star" factory.
     
  101. "Much as I'd be happy to share my bed with Coulter"

    Didn't she change her gender at some point? Look at that Adam's apple.
     
  102. Boris: I don't know why you are engaging at either. Yet another wannabee opinion O suppose. That it Boris? Post your pictures Boris. Show us this vast expertise you are hiding from us.

    No. You just want to join those who insult rather than discuss. I guess you must stick with what you know. Maybe you and Dixon can get together and giggle a little. Meanwhile the adults are having a discussion.
     
  103. Next time I'm passing thru Sleepyville I'll give you a call.
     
  104. Rick, you might try climbing down off your moral high horse. Every response you've made to me has included negative insinuations about my character which weren't relevant to the topic of bias. I've tried to engage you in "adult discussion," but rather than giving reasoned arguments, you just keep repeating your position and backing it up with still more examples of your own bias. Why should anyone take you seriously?
     
  105. "The vast majority of news stories are objective for all practical purposes"
    Only in cloud cuckoo land.
     
  106. What Green Valley really needs is a good biker gang and a titty bar, maybe an aging motel where, you know, those uptight golf players in their hideous polyester trousers and shirts can go to talk to the girls. Beware of what you say, or I WILL start taking pictures in Green Valley and post them with no perspective or bias.
     
  107. I just love the outright bigotry on this forum. And by those kvetching about bias in news reporting. It is laughable.

    As Woody Allen said: "I admit I'm a bigot but for the left".

    Two people who believe it is OK to reduce 30,000 people to a cultural stereotype.

    It shows the hypocracy of the left. Give me a conservative anytime. The liberal bigots here disgusting.

    And John.... You said: "Beware of what you say, or I WILL start taking pictures in Green Valley and post them with no perspective or bias." After what you have said about this place sight-unseen? ROFLOL. Oh yea. Your Mr. Objectivity, aren't you.
     
  108. Rick, just because people here disagree with your absurd claims it doesn't mean they are liberals. In fact, to the extent that the people pointing out the weakness of your claims have expressed a political leaning, it has ranged as far to the right as to the left. Can you point out a single statement I've made in this thread that would indicate I'm a "disgusting liberal bigot?" Well, other than the fact that I think you're full of it . . .
     
  109. "those kvetching about bias in news reporting. It is laughable."

    There's often an element of comedy in tragedy.

    "Two people who believe it is OK to reduce 30,000 people to a cultural stereotype."

    Make that three. You're doing better than anyone else here at portraying the residents of
    Sleepy Valley as senile and trusting, utopian fools.

    "It shows the hypocracy of the left. Give me a conservative anytime. The liberal bigots here
    disgusting."

    Now we seem to be getting somewhere useful. At least when it comes to understanding
    your real position.
    However, I'm not sure who the "liberal bigots" are here. Care to name them?

    I can't help but notice that when earlier characterizing me and Mike Dixon as sniggering
    children, you - the "adult" - failed to respond to my comments regarding proprietorial
    interference and inherent cultural bias in the media.

    I've no idea if you want to spend the rest of your life waiting to die in Sleepy Valley (where
    the chipmunks sing and dance and the media bosses give all of their profits to blind
    orphan children), but, if not, there is a way out......Given your upbeat spin on life you're
    actually the perfect "embed" for Iraq. The military are crying out for forward looking
    patriots like yourself to give us the real picture of what's going on out there....
     
  110. Well Boris. I'm glad you made my point for me. I love to see bigots cry out for attention. Where do you draw the line. Obviously not at age. Maybe race? Religion? Gosh I hope so.

    Read the thread again Boris. I addressed all of your questions in detail.
     
  111. " I addressed all of your questions in detail."

    I'm happy to allow others to judge whether or not that's the case.
     

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