Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Milw. Journal Sentinel: Fair and Balanced?

Today Charlie Sykes presents us with a little quiz he calls the "Fair and Balanced Journalism Test." (Hat tip: Dummocrats) Read this carefully, then answer the questions that follow.

An article in the newspaper includes the following stories:

(A) Three sisters living in Baghdad are planning to vote even if it means risking their lives to cast their ballots. They are adamant about voting. Says one: 'Life or death -- I'm going to vote.'"

(B) A 34-year-old woman living in San Francisco will travel from her home to Irvine, Calif., about 40 miles south of Los Angeles, to register and then fly back several days later to vote.

An Iraqi named Sadah Badel, 40, ignored Monday's cold temperatures in Nashville as he and his uncle waited for the bus, eager to begin the voting process."Hopefully we can get a democratic country and do the election right," Badel said. "This time is going to be hard because this time is the first time, but hopefully the next couple of years will be much better. Our hope is we have one country just like everyone else here and in Europe -- an independent country, a free country."

(D) Tommy Alyasiry, a 38-year-old school maintenance worker in St. Louis, plans to rent a car and drive his family to Chicago to register later this week. "We waited a long time, but finally we see the freedom."

(E) An Iraqi man who lives in the United States says that driving to Illinois to register is too much a hassle and calls the election a sham.

(F) "Truly I'm divided. I'm so strongly against the invasion of Iraq. I'm against what America is doing in Iraq.

(G) "I talked to a guy yesterday, he said, 'If I have to go walking, I will go,' " said Ihsan Alyasiry, executive director of the Mesopotamian Center of St. Louis, who plans to register in Chicago.

QUESTION: Which individual do you think is featured in the Journal Sentinel story? Which quote is highlighted on the paper’s front page? Which quote is relegated to the last paragraph?

For the answers -- as if you haven't already guessed -- go to Charlie Sykes's web page.

And that, my friends, succinctly illustrates the problem with the mainstream news media.


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