Friday, October 10, 2003

Study?

A report in the Christian Science Monitor states that, according to a study, people who watch news channels such as Fox are misinformed regarding the war in Iraq and those who watch PBS and listen to NPR are better informed.

A Knight Ridder report on a major new study released last week, shows that a majority of Americans have held at least one of three mistaken impressions about the US-led war in Iraq, and those misperceptions contributed to much of the popular support for the war. The study, entitled "Misperceptions, The Media and the Iraq War," conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, also showed that the more people watched certain commercial news media, the more likely they were to hold at least one of the misperceptions. The study found that those who primarily watch Fox News are significantly more likely to have misperceptions, while those who primarily listen to NPR or watch PBS are significantly less likely.

"When evidence surfaces that a significant portion of the public has just got a hole in the picture ... this is a potential problem in the way democracy functions," says Clay Ramsay, research director for the Washington-based Program on International Policy Attitudes, which studies foreign-policy issues.

The study looked at three propositions, which to date – according to government reports and accepted public surveys – are false:

US forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

There's clear evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein worked closely with the Sept. 11 terrorists.

People in foreign countries generally either backed the US-led war or were evenly split between supporting and opposing it.

The main problem I see in all of this deals with the 3 supposed falsehoods. To wit, the US has not found massive amounts of WMD in Iraq but it has found buried nuclear weapons equipments, a vial of botulinum bacteria that has been hidden in a Iraqi scientist's refrigerator since 1993, that Saddam had a 10 million dollar missile deal with N. Korea, and that Saddam had barrels of SCUD missile fuel (SCUD missile fuel can only be used in SCUD missiles...nothing else. Iraq was banned from having SCUD missiles by the UN after the Gulf War.) Furthermore, we know that Iraq sent convoys of trucks to Syria full of who-knows-what.

In addition, Saddam may not have worked closely with the terrorists that carried out 9-11, but he contributed to global terrorism by paying Palestinians to carry out suicide bombings and sheltering wanted terrorists like Abu Nidal.

Lastly, a great portion of the world did support the US action against Iraq. The list includes, but is not limited to:

Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Portugal, Rwanda, Singapore, Solomon Islands, and Uganda.

I wonder what the better informed PBS and NPR patrons would say to all that.

This reeks of leftist propaganda to me.


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