Dan R Allen wrote:

> > >Dan:
> > But you also see cites like this:
> > "On Monday, Perisic and two others were charged with espionage, the
> > state-run Tanjug news agency reported, citing a statement released by
> > military prosecutors. If convicted, the three face between three and 15
> > years in jail." This came from the on-line version of the Las Vegas Sun,
> > under a AP byline.
> >
> http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-eur/2002/sep/30/093002490.html
> >
> Marc:
> An example of a verifiable citation.
> Dan:
> It's all relative I guess since I don't read Slav, and the items referenced
> would be difficult to find without dates, etc.

"Serbo-Croation" is the language you mean, but Tanjug, while also issuing
statements in their native tongue, will also release translated versions for the
wire services to pick up. AP is the English-language source. In other words, the
URL you gave above is sufficient for a citation. Just saying "it was in Janes"
isn't specific enough. Another reader can't find it.

> > Dan:
> > So while saying "Janes reported" may not be as specific as you desire, it
> > does not lessen it's validity, or the reliability of the reporter.

What it tells me is that the reporter does not know his/her alleged trade if they
can't put together a simple citation, like, say, Janes Defence Weekly, 27/08/02,
p. 28-32. Although it's never the kind of thing I could prove, it leaves me with
the suspicion that the reporter got his information second or third hand, and not
directly from the news source, contrary to the Las Vegas Sun AP report (for one
thing, the AP report would be in most major dailies in the US and probably
Canada, so you could do a search on it.).

> Marc:
> An example of a hard-to-verify citation. For some reason I find more of
> this kind
> in certain online news sources (like CNS)  that the right wing especially
> seems
> to be attracted to. Am not sure why that should be so. Surely it can't be
> that
> right-wingers can't tell a valid journalistic service from a propaganda
> service.
> I know some smart conservatives who would never fail to make that
> distinction.
> Dan:
> Generic statements released by Yugoslav military prosecutors are hard to
> verify also.

I don't follow you. What's a "generic statement" in this context? The Yugoslavian
story named names. It wasn't "generic" at all.

> Why is it left-wingers claim that only news sources that they agree with
> are acceptable?

They don't. I'm not a left-winger, but even if some think I am, I dissed the
Guardian right on this thread. To quote:

"> Dan: But since CNS is too untrustworthy, how about the Guardian?"

"Too ideological and wacky for my tastes. In any case, the summary you give
strikes me as an accurate account of their beliefs and the payments their
families receive. So again, ideology isn't the point."

> Might have something to do with ideological bent, don't you think?
> MSNBC and their ilk claim impartiality, yet constantly apply bias in
> determining what they consider to be news.

Can you give some examples? I can. ABC, actually, but same diff.
We get most of the US networks up here on cable, including the traditional Big 3.
The local station's feed we get is Spokane, which is kind of odd, getting US news
through a small place like Spokane, but that's another story. Anyway the national
and international news is no different from ABC in Spokane than it would be in
San Francisco. But this one day there had been an earthquake around 5.5 or so,
and the local news team, who were giving regional news ("Pacific Northwest" --
"Pacific Central West" to us) said the earthquake was felt from Portland to
Bellingham, and from Ketchikan to Juneau.

So, what does that make the points between Bellingham and Ketchikan -- the  Lower
Mainland (metro Vancouver), Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, the Inside
Passage and the Queen Charlotte Islands -- chopped liver?

> Services like CNS do not claim
> impartiality, and generally make it easy to identify their bias.
> A propaganda instrument will generally be much more effective by claiming
> impartiality while feeding their victims only that what they want them to
> hear.

Again, examples, please. I've given you an example.

Let's take another look at your example from CNS:

Here was your quote: "In addition, Jane's Foreign Report, a highly regarded
intelligence publication, reports that Israel's military intelligence service,
Aman, suspects that Iraq sponsored the
suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon."

Now, this could well be true. I don't know. But I'm not going to believe Lawrence
Morahan, the writer, because his argument here (just here -- I'm using this part
of the article as an example) is based solely on a report that according to
Jane's Foreign Report, one of the Jane's group of defence and military
publications published in Britain (and well-known and well-respected), has
allegedly made a claim from Israel's military intelligence service.

Let's work backwards.
First of all, Mossad or Aman both have a vested interested in having the US
attack Iraq. But the writer hides that with the reference to Jane's, making it
seem like the information is really from Jane's, who have no axe to grind (they
are widely considered to be a neutral and accurate source of information).

Now, Jane's has a website. I'm a registered user, in fact. I just did a search on
keywords Aman World Trade suicide attack from 21-09-01 to 30-09-02. Guess how
many returns I got?
Clue: pick a number from 0 to 0.9999999....

Okay, I thought, maybe that's too many key words, so I just tried Aman Hussein
World Trade. Still 0.

Just as a check to make sure that I wasn't using the search engine wrong, I
simply put in World Trade Center, and got 3 responses, in March, May and July of
2002. Nothing from September 2001 to February 2002.

NOW do you see why it's important to provide appropriate citations? Your news
source is either lying or they screwed up somewhere. Either way they're not
dependable, and they remind me of anti-Mormon groups who keep quoting each other
round and round in circles and you can never find the original item.

Your turn for an example.

> ****
> Marc,
> I have no problem discussing issues based on the factual content, but
> personal ideological attacks should be beneath us. Therefore I will no
> longer respond to your comments about the 'right' or 'intelligence' of the
> U.S. government plans for responding to the Iraqi threat.

I don't understand your criticism. I'm arguing that the US has no moral right to
attack Iraq. That's a legitimate position. If you don't want to discuss it
anymore, fine, but I'm sure you could find a more gracious way out.

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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