Day by Day

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Taking on the media

I haven't been able to post much so far today because I have been busy taking on my local media. Here is the email I sent to my local radio station, their owners and The Dundee courier newspaper.

I am writting in regards to continuing biased reporting my Radio Tay AM. I listen to the AM station so I do not know what is being reported on the FM station but presume it is the same.

Here are some examples:

Today, April 8 2004, you are running, what is I presume an ad for The Dundee Courier. The sound bite says "US Bombs mosque; reads the headline in todays Courier" or very close to that. That is true, the headline reads "US bombs mosque amid bitter revolt". But the first sentence of the article says "...bomb on a mosque compound..." which is not the same as the mosque itself.

In addition, the 6th paragraph says "Witness said part of a wall surrounding the mosque compound was destroyed but the main building was not damaged." The wall was the target to allow access to the compound for coalition forces.

This is sensationlism at it's worst and just fans anti-American sentiment in the community. I am an American and live in this coumminity. I have 3 small children. What is the next headline going to be? "American family killed in Angus by Islamic militants".

The Courier was wrong to word the headline the way it did and you are wrong to run the ad. This is especially pertinent in light of a recent article in the Sunday Times. The Sunday Times (available on oline), 4 April 2004, page 7, "Scotland is not exempt from threat of extremists" article, 3rd collumn, 3rd paragraph reads:

"Dundee has gained a reputation as a fertile breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalists.

Last year it emerged that Norien Sajeel, a Scottish primary school teacher in her twenties, born and raised in the city, was also leader of Pakistan's Sister Division, the women's branch of Al-Muhajiroun.

In the wake of the Bali bombing, which left more than 180 dead, one of the eight suspects was Shamsul Bahri Hussein, a graduate of Dundee University."

Yesterday I called your newsdesk to complain about the biased speakers you kept running at the end of your Iraq news segments. You either used George Galloway or someone from the anti-war coalition. George Galloway, the kicked out of the labor party for inciting British troops to mutiny Galloway, the linked to the oil-for-food UN scandal Galloway, the "the saddest day of my life was the day the Soviet Union fell" Galloway.

The Sunday after the Madrid bombings, an elderly gentleman from Dundee called Ali Bali's phone in show, and expressed his opinion as to who was responsible for the terrorist attacks. His opinion - George Bush was responsible! His reasoning; it would make Bush's war on terror look good and aid his re-election. Ali did not cut him off or chastise him for it. I hope and presume you would not allow racist, anti-semitic or the like to be aired on your station. Why allow this or at least condemn his remarks? How would your listeners like it if I, as an American, called in and said "The Scottish government was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing to further it's case against Libya"? There would be an outrage.

And on it goes. Are you engaging in sensational journalism just to make money or is there some other hidden agenda?

The US Navy base at RAF Edzell provided a tremendous source of income and jobs for the local community for over 30 years. Scottish-Amercian relations were fantastic. We supported local charites, participated in local events from the Montrose Donkey Derby, Montrose Highland games, and the Bramar Highland Games. While at the same time, as part of NATO, helped provide protection for this country. It is so sad to see organizations like yours, The BBC and papers like the Guardian engaging in such anti-American propaganda.

Footnote: it is just now 10:00 and your news is on with the lead article about Iraq. Who is your soundbite from this time? Jullian Manion (sp)! And what does he have to say - "well at least when Saddam was in power he put down these rebellions".
Great, just great. Is that what your news department is recommending? Murder everybody in sight? Disgusting and you should be ashamed.

Update: Tay Radio emailed me to say they do try and balance things out by having speakers from different sides on alternating hours. In addition, they rely on Independent Radio Network for their news source.

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