Monday, February 20, 2006

MMFA, BOR, and Christian Amanpour

MMFA has made it a habit to relentlessly pound Bill O'Reilly for the last 18 months on continually taking quotes or statistics out of context and refusing to provide the full transcript of the remarks or quote. That's why I find it funny (and again sad) that they have done the exact same thing.

In the following post MMFA said "Bill O'Reilly claimed that remarks by CNN's Christiane Amanpour show that she has a "rooting interest" in the Iraq war being a disaster, though nothing she said supports O'Reilly's assertion."

Amanpour said the following quote: "And I cannot tell you how awful I feel for Bob and Doug and for their families, their wives, their children who have to put up with them going away and waiting for them just like our families do when we come back. But, as [former CNN correspondent] Peter Arnett said and I think that the others have said, that, number one, it's our responsibility. Number two, if we don't do it, who does it? We have had so -- we have to have an independent eye on these conflicts. The war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster and journalists have paid for it, paid for the privilege of witnessing and reporting that and so have many, many other people who have been there. And I think that's terribly, terribly difficult for us and unfortunately, for some reason which I can't fathom, the kind of awful thing that's going on there now on a daily basis has almost become humdrum. So, when something happens to people that we identify, like Bob and like Doug, we wake up again and realize that, no, this is not acceptable what's going on there and it's a terrible situation.

Parts in bold were the sentences used on the O'Reilly Factor. Bill then had a
discussion with Napoleon Byars from the University of North Carolina School of Journalism. I'm not going to reprint the entire transcript (that can be found
here), but MMFA
took one quote from it and pasted on their website as proof of their assertion.

O'REILLY: No, I know that. But look, you have to look at it, professor -- and I'm sure you know this because you do this every day -- in the sense of how she's now perceived in her coverage on CNN. I mean, she's declared herself to say it's a disaster. So, you can draw by that that she has a rooting interest in it being thus.

But notice O'Reilly never said that she has a rooting interest in the Iraq War being a disaster. He only hypothecized to the Professor that one can come to the conclusion that she has a rooting interest in it being a disaster. He never uttered words "She has a rooting interest in the Iraq War being a disaster". Also, MMFA conveniently does not publish the entire transcript of the interview during which Bill said

"Well, I think she's talking about the chaotic terror bombings that occur on a daily basis with, you know, horrible casualties. I think that's what the woman is talking about, Colonel. And surely, you understand that there are analysts, some of them do work for Fox, who feel that the war is not going that well and that the ultimate outcome is still in doubt."

"Well, Ms. Amanpour clearly feels from her vantage point, and she's been there as well obviously, a brave woman I must say, clearly feels that this is not going well for the USA. How do you see it, Professor Byars?"

"Absolutely. People make mistakes, sir. I make them every night. I make them every night. People make mistakes. We're not trying to condemn anybody here."

As one can clearly see, O'Reilly was not trying to hold up Amanpour and slaughter her for saying that the war has been a disaster so far. He never said that she had a rooting interest in the war; he said that by her (who is supposed to be neutral) saying that it is a disaster, it might give the impression that she is not neutral but is instead rooting for it to turn out one way or the other (i'll let you guess which way)...

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