Media Bias: How to Say Opposite Things When Reporting the Same Story

Perhaps you've heard of this; the simple facts are that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is due to expire, and Russia and the US are starting to negotiate a new one.  However as I am showing you right now, that bit of news is being exploited to say everything from Putin is chomping to start a new cold war, to Obama has magically made Russia give up it's nuclear arms with the sheer power of hope.  There are no more words at my disgust at how bad some news sources can be.

From the UK Guardian:

We will dump nuclear treaty, Putin warns
"Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that Russia was considering withdrawing from a major cold war arms treaty banning intermediate nuclear missiles unless it was expanded to include other states.
President Putin said that Moscow was planning to dump the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty (INF) – signed in a landmark deal between the US and Soviet Union in 1987 – unless countries such as China were included in its provisions…"

From the UK Times Online:

President Obama seeks Russia deal to slash nuclear weapons
"President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent.
The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow…"

From VOA News:

Russian Foreign Minister Says Nuclear Arms Deal With US a Top Priority
"Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov says a new legally binding Russian-American treaty on strategic offensive arms is his government's top priority. In a speech to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, Lavrov outlined other area of concern including the spread of nuclear weapons and the prevention of an arms race in outer space. 

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says he believes Russia can work with the new Obama administration in a way it was not able to with the previous administration. He says Washington seems open to dealing with questions of multi-lateral disarmament and this bodes well for future negotiations between the two countries on a variety of difficult issues…"

And Perhaps I'm showing my bias by actually believing that of all of these the Canadian source, CBC News is actually tells us what we need to know…

U.S., Russia seek nuclear treaty before year's end
"The United States and Russia have both said they hope to have a new agreement by the end of this year on limiting nuclear weapons.

The timing is right for the two countries to build on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Saturday.

"The right moment has come, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, for making real progress in resuming the global disarmament process on a broad agenda."

Russia and the United States hammered out the START I treaty in 1991 and updated it in 2002, but the agreement is due to expire in December.

The original treaty limited each side to 6,000 nuclear warheads, as well as 1,600 missiles and bombers. START II brought the number of warheads down to 3,500.

A successor deal with the U.S. must cover delivery systems as well as warheads, Lavrov said.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Lavrov for a two-hour working dinner in Geneva and later said reaching a new arms reduction treaty was "of the highest priority."

The new U.S. administration under President Barack Obama has been talking about "pressing the reset button" in its relations with Russia, Clinton said.

Despite disagreements in the past few years, sparked by Russia's invasion of Georgia and the proposed U.S. missile interceptor system in eastern Europe, the two countries plan to start work immediately on reaching a new nuclear treaty, she said.

"We discussed a number of specific issues that we believe are important for us to work together on to make progress. There is no time to waste on a number of these significant challenges, so we will begin to work immediately to translate our words into deeds," Clinton said.

The talks between Clinton and Lavrov were held to lay the groundwork for Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev before they meet for the first time at the Group of 20 summit in London on April 2."

It's interesting to note that the CBC entry was the top result on a google search: "russia nuclear treaty".  However the Guardian UK, and Times Online posts were the second two.  This honestly frightens me because top google rank is rewarded to entries that are linked-to the most.  (Yes this means I'm part of the problem.)  This means that internet users are forwarding disgusting lies that try to pass off as news so much that they can become near top rank on the search engine nearly everyone uses.

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Importing a Vox Blog.
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One Response to Media Bias: How to Say Opposite Things When Reporting the Same Story

  1. Yeah, the news in the US has become more entertainment and less journalism. The only way I've found around it is to find two opposite partisan sources. At least then you're sure to get the strongest arguments for either side of the story.

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