Last week, John S. Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times, delivered a lecture during "Ethics Week" of the Society of Professional Journalists. The speaker has not yet been announced for "Abstinence Week" of the Society of Professional Whores.
Showing the fierce independence of the mainstream media, Carroll's speech was yet another liberal rant about the threat to freedom and democracy posed by the Fox News Channel. Carroll cited the hoax poll liberals quote every 10 minutes that purports to show people who watch Fox News are ignorant retards.
The poll was taken by the "Program on International Policy Attitudes," which specializes in polling Americans about pointless little factoids loved by liberals. One PIPA poll, for example, asked whether "so far this year, more Israelis or more Palestinians have died in the conflict, or is the number roughly equal?" To the shock and dismay of the researchers, "only 32 percent of respondents were aware that more deaths have occurred on the Palestinian side than on the Israeli side."
There was no poll question about which group was more likely to die as a result of suicide bombings against innocent civilians and which as a result of strategic strikes against known terrorists. During World War II, PIPA would have been issuing indignant press releases announcing that "only 32 percent of respondents are aware Hitler is kind to his dog."
The most famous PIPA poll claims to demonstrate that "the Fox News audience showed the highest average rate of misperceptions" about the war with Iraq -- by which they mean "misperceptions of pointless liberal factoids about the war with Iraq." You say the average American can't regurgitate liberal talking points on command? Well, I'll be darned! And the public schools are trying so hard!
The poll asked questions like this: "Is it your impression that the U.S. has or has not found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al-Qaida terrorist organization?" Sixty-seven percent of Fox News Channel viewers said the United States had found evidence of a link. Liberals view this as a "misperception."
Admittedly the evidence may not be as "clear" as the evidence proving a link between Osama bin Laden and Halliburton, but among other evidence connecting Iraq to al-Qaida, consider just these three items.
Last year papers were found in Iraqi intelligence headquarters documenting Saddam's feverish efforts to establish a working relationship with al-Qaida. In response to Iraq's generous invitation to pay all travel and hotel expenses, a top aide to Osama bin Laden visited Iraq in 1998, bearing a message from bin Laden. The meeting went so well that bin Laden's aide stayed for a week. Iraq intelligence officers sent a message back to bin Laden, the documents note, concerning "the future of our relationship."
In addition, according to Czech intelligence, a few months before the 9-11 attacks, Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence agents in Prague.
Finally, a Clinton-appointed federal judge, U.S. District Court judge Harold Baer, has made a legal finding that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attacks -- a ruling upheld by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals last October. When some judge discovers a right to gay marriage in a 200-year-old document written by John Adams, Americans are forced to treat the decision like the God-given truth. But when a federal judge issues a decision concluding that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attacks, it is a "misperception" being foisted on the nation by Fox News Channel.
Interestingly, liberals refuse to believe Czech intelligence on the Prague meeting ... because the CIA doesn't believe it. Apparently, this is the lone, singular assertion by the CIA that liberals wholeheartedly trust. The CIA also concluded that evidence of WMDs in Iraq was -- in the words of CIA director George Tenet -- a "slam dunk case." But liberals hysterically denounce that CIA conclusion as a "misperception" created by Fox News Channel.
Thus another question in the PIPA poll was this: "Since the war with Iraq ended, is it your impression that the U.S. has or has not found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?" Thirty-three percent of Fox News viewers said they believed the U.S. had found WMDs, compared to only 11 percent of those smart NPR listeners. (How about asking NPR listeners which kills more children -- handguns or buckets?)
By "weapons of mass destruction," what liberals mean is: missiles pointed at Washington, D.C., with their "Ready to Fire" lights blinking ominously and their warhead payloads clearly marked "Weapons of Mass Destruction! Next Stop, The Great Satan America!" -- basically what you might see on an episode of the original Batman TV series. When we didn't find that, the "Bush lied, kids died!" screaming began.
David Kay's report said we hadn't found "stockpiles" of WMDs in Iraq, but we have found:
-- chemical and biological weapons systems, plans, "recipes" and equipment, all of which could have resumed production on a moment's notice with Saddam's approval;
-- reference strains of a wide variety of biological-weapons agents (found in the home of a prominent Iraqi biological warfare scientist);
-- new research on brucella and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin;
-- a prison laboratory complex for testing biological weapons on humans;
-- long-range missiles (prohibited by United Nations resolutions) suitable for delivering WMDs;
-- documents showing Saddam tried to obtain long-range ballistic missiles from North Korea;
-- facilities for manufacturing fuel propellant useful only for prohibited Scud-variant missiles.
Sorry to bore Fox News viewers with these facts. I'm doing it as a favor to readers of the Los Angeles Times.