Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cheney Coverage

Using a random number generator to choose 10 numbers, 1-100 I came up with:
51, 67, 52, 15, 52, 4, 6, 45, 10, 97

I got a repeat number so I was left with 9 numbers, randomly chosen from 100.

I then typed "Cheney" into blog search (by Google) and into Technorati.

The goal was to randomly pick from the last 100 posts to get a sense of what the blogosphere is saying, and to gauge the response from left, right, and politically neutral sites.

Here are some samplings of what I found. Google Results:

Intoxination.net (self proclaimed "progressive" site):
"We are learning more every day that our adversaries in both Iraq and Afghanistan are far more organized than anyone in the administration is letting on to."

This site is politically to the left. I gauge this post as being neutral regarding the attack. Except for the somewhat paranoid "the government is hiding the real truth from us" feeling I get from this post, it seemed very neutral and not at all a negative post about Cheney. Here is one example, chosen at random from the blogosphere, that not all lefty sites are bashing Cheney after this attack on his life.

World Views
After a suicide bomber attacked the entrance of a U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan, the Taliban claimed the strike was aimed at Vice President Dick Cheney.

Well you can't get much more neutral than that. This site is definitely to the right (an article critical of Hillary and Pelosi appear on the front page).

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES
Nobody suggests that there is any connection between the stock market plunge and Cheney's hair-thin escape from the bombing in Afghanistan which took the lives of many other people. I'm not suggesting this, either, but need to put the Cheney thing somewhere on the blog today, because it occurred to me that if the flytrap theory about terrorism (that we need to keep them busy abroad so they don't find us here) is correct, it would seem that having Cheney abroad permanently would keep the rest of us safe. - Just kidding.

Well, kidding or not, I am going to count this as an attack on Cheney in light of his recent assassination attempt. This is a liberal blog. So of the randomly chosen blogs, on the left so far we have one neutral and one negative.

Hot Air
Captain Ed thinks this gives Bush the political capital he needs to launch an attack on the new terror camps springing up in the Pakistani border region. Hopefully so, although Americans are sufficiently war weary that I suspect at this point they wouldn’t want Bush expanding the theater for any reason short of another AQ bombing on American soil.

Treatment of Cheney: Neutral. Clearly a conservative site, I read it occasionally.

The Corner (on National Review Online)
If I were over at the Huffington Post, I would be certain Cheney planned the suicide attack today in Afghanistan and willingly sacrificed 19 innocents.

Treatment of Cheney: Positive. (Negative treatment of the left). This was a weird post. I wasn't sure, initially, which side this post was coming down on, because of the dig on the Huffington Post. It also said "President Cheney would make Tom Lennox secretary of homeland security!" and I wasn't sure if this was tongue in cheek or what. I eventually concluded that this post was positive of Cheney, but you can judge for yourself.

The Left Coaster
It is a telling statement about the mess we find ourselves in six years into the Bush/Cheney foreign policy that the VP cannot travel overseas without an attempt on his life by an enemy that was supposed to be vanquished five years ago. Today, the Taliban sent a message to Dick Cheney when a suicide bomber struck the American base at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where Cheney was visiting in supposed secrecy.

...Cheney sees a need to travel overseas in secret when he talks with foreign leaders, as if the subject of his discussions merit such secrecy. The real reason for this secrecy is for Cheney’s own safety, which didn’t matter to the Taliban this morning. Yet Cheney felt a need to hide the Pakistan and Afghanistan parts of his visit from the world by traveling not on Air Force Two, but instead in a military transport with a Gulfstream trailer inside. What exactly is the reason for all this juvenile secrecy?

Treatment of Cheney: Very Negative. This is a liberal blog.

So far from randomly chosen blogs, 2 negative, one neutral from left-leaning blogs. 2 neutral, one positive from right leaning blogs.

One of the sites from this list was a broken link. Can't really gauge that one, but it was one of the randomly chosen posts from blogsearch.

BC Politics
Vice President Dick Cheney is old, he's sick, he's unpopular, and he looks like Burgess Meredith playing The Penguin. He may be the most hated man in the US government, and with his age and ill health he's at the top of the Washington dead pools. Hell, for all we know the stealth VP might already be dead and no one bothered to tell us.

The Vice Presidency isn't a very useful job anyway. A dead man could probably do it. John Nance Garner once commented "The vice presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit," and most who've held that job seem to have agreed with him. At least one VP spent 80% of his term on vacation in the Bahamas and others like Dan Quayle sent their brains on vacation.

No one can doubt Cheney's patriotism, his hatred of terrorists, or his dedication to the neocon cause and the welfare of this administration. He's a dedicated man with a cause. So why not put him to some real use? Rather than letting him go out with a whimper on a heart machine in Walter Reed, we should let him be useful in a way that Vice Presidents rarely are, as a martyr for his cause. Get the most out of the office and the most out of the man by making him into the ultimate human weapon in the war on terror.

So here's the secret administration plan, possibly code-worded "Maximum Dick". Load VP Cheney on a plane with a minimal number of guards, and send him on a tour of terrorist hotspots around the world. Whisk him off to Afghanistan and Baghdad and Somalia. Parade him around in taunting public appearances, and hope the terrorists take the bait.

He'll be a likely magnet for suicide bombers, Jihadist snipers, and IED planters. If they don't manage to take him out on schedule, there's a fair chance that all the stress of traveling as a human target will wear out his heart and he'll drop dead. Then just 'find' his body at the next convenient terrorist strike and voila! You've got an instant martyr and the former liability becomes a rallying point for a discouraged nation.

This is presented as a satirical approach to a "right ring"(sic) fantasy. I don't really think it is particularly funny. Comedy is difficult to gauge, though. It was posted to a blog written by many different contributors. Absent evidence to the contrary, I am going to label this source as neutral and the treatment as negative.

For those keeping count of the randomly chosen posts:
Left leaning: 2 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning: 1 positive, 2 neutral
Neutral: 1 negative

The last of the randomly chosen posts from blogsearch is another satire piece (banging head against wall). This one I thought was funny, though:
satirebylillpop
John: ... Now, Madam Speaker, you, and Vice President Dick Cheney seem to be engaged in a personal war. Verbal charges and counter charges, back and forth.

What is that all about, Madam Speaker?

Speaker Pelosi:

First of all, John let me make this perfectly clear. I was very upset by the recent attempt to assassinate Mr. Cheney. There is no place for that sort of action in our debate.

Secondly, I believe that the incident proves my point. Namely, that Al-Quaeda poses no legitimate threat to America or our allies. The entire issue is overblown.

John:

You believe that the attempted murder of a sitting vice president is just hype? What do you plan to do about it?

Speaker Pelosi:

Exactly right, John. The Cheney attempted murder was nothing more than a "crisis" staged by the White House to grab news headlines.

As far as what I plan to do about it, after the news broke I immediately called the president to complain about Cheney's grandstanding.

John:

And how did the president respond?

Speaker Pelosi:

He asked the basis for my complaint. That is when I told the president that Cheney faked a murder attempt because he knows that Democrats were about to announce major legislation to help poor Americans. Cheney clearly wanted to knock me off the front pages.

John:

New legislation? What is that Madam Speaker?

Speaker Pelosi:

Well, I was saving this for prime time news, but since Cheney hogged the airwaves, I guess I can tell you.

I am going to label this a conservative blog (based on this one post, I don't have time to read every blog to get a better feel for the source) and the treatment of Cheney is neutral. The treatment of Pelosi is negative, but I am only interested in the treatment of Cheney after this recent attack on his life.

So from blogsearch, by Google, of randomly chosen blogs for the term "Cheney"

Left leaning blogs: 2 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 1 negative

On to Technorati:
Donkey Path
Vice President Dick Cheney is discovering the hard way that you can't run away from your problems by taking trips overseas that probably should be handled, in any case, by the State Department.

The blog is definitely left leaning, VERY negative treatment of Cheney. Later in the post: "The problem for Dick Cheney is that nobody is fooled: he's a liar, a political manipulator and an incompetent." There is a lot more of that.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 1 negative

J.Go
Just heard on the radio about this…
Taliban attempted to assassinate Dick Cheney - Article from Houston Chronicle
Not cool dude. Not cool.

Neutral site. Positive treatment.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 1 positive, 1 negative

Darwiniana
On the basis of these tragic casualties, a good case can be made that the “gang of four” (Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rice) have made enormous blunders and that Pres¬ident Bush may have committed impeachable of¬fenses.

This appeared in a LONG blockquote. No telling if the poster holds these sentiments. I am not sure how to categorize the blog. I will label it neutral. I have to list the treatment of Cheney as negative, I know this has nothing to do with the recent attacks, but that is how I am labeling it.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 2 negative, 1 positive

sparklewench
We need to impeach Cheney, and then Bush.

Too bad those who want to "get along" feel that other things are more important. The good news is that a bunch of generals have said they will resign if they are ordered to attack Iran. The air force, though, feels more prepared to attack Iran. Thank goodness the Defense Secretary Gates feels inclined to listen to the generals who say it's not a good idea.

I will label this negative treatment and a neutral site (the post is strongly liberal, but the rest of the posts do not seem very political)

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 3 negative, 1 positive

Congress Check
KABUL: The Taliban on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that hit the main US military base in Afghanistan during a visit by US vice president Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20 more.

I am not sure if this was simply the posting of a news story or if some commentary was included. Regardless the treatment was neutral. The site didn't appear to have a political slant one way or the other... maybe a little paranoid and a little bit "truther" though.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 3 negative, 1 positive, 1 neutral

The Crime Blog
Episode 2 - Topics of discussion:
...
- Taliban assassination attempt on Dick Cheney (suicide bombing)

This was a link to a podcast. I don't have the ability to listen to this. If someone wants to listen to it and leave a comment on whether it is postive, neutral, or negative, I would appreciate it.

In the meantime I will list this as neutral site, neutral comment.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 3 negative, 2 neutral, 1 positive

squidgyfishlove
But hey, they almost blew up Dick Cheney today, so I'm happy.

Negative treatment by a liberal on a mostly neutral site. Livejournal is hard to categorize, because it is hard to label a personal diary a "liberal" or "conservative" site, since there is so much that doesn't really fall to one side or the other. I will call all personal diaries "neutral" for that reason.

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 4 negative, 2 neutral, 1 positive

Mike's Myspace
Plans for detention facilities or camps have a long history, going back to fears in the 1970s of a national uprising by black militants. As Alonzo Chardy reported in the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987, an executive order for continuity of government (COG) had been drafted in 1982 by FEMA head Louis Giuffrida. The order called for "suspension of the Constitution" and "declaration of martial law." The martial law portions of the plan were outlined in a memo by Giuffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff.

In 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 188, one of a series of directives that authorized continued planning for COG by a private parallel government.

Two books, James Mann's "Rise of the Vulcans" and James Bamford's "A Pretext for War," have revealed that in the 1980s this parallel structure, operating outside normal government channels, included the then-head of G. D. Searle and Co., Donald Rumsfeld, and then-Congressman from Wyoming Dick Cheney.

Treatment: negative Source: neutral (This one had nothing to do with the assassination attempt. This article posted on a myspace page is alleging the Bush administration "is thinking seriously about martial law" and concentration camps.)

The official count:
Left leaning blogs: 3 negative, 1 neutral
Right leaning blogs: 1 positive, 3 neutral
Neutral blogs: 5 negative, 2 neutral, 1 positive

The last link was not in English.

So, in an attempt for 20 randomly chosen blogs, I only ended up with 16. Of those 4 were clearly left leaning. 3 out of 4 of the randomly chosen blogs treated Cheney negatively in posts written the same day of his assassination attempt.

I tried to be as fair as possible in conducting this. I know that to draw any statistical conclusions I would need at least 32-36 liberal blogs with 3/4s giving Cheney negative treatment to be able to say that 75% of the liberal bloggers treated Cheney negatively on the day of his assassination attempt.

If I count some of the negative treatment by liberals who have what I categorize as neutral blogs, then the number actually becomes higher.

Why go to all this trouble? I wouldn't want anyone to think I was cherry picking comments. If I had more time (I have already spent way to long on this post and am taking heat for it from the Mrs.) I would keep going until I had a number from which I could actually draw a scientific conclusion.

2 comments:

Daniel E. Wood said...

Fabulinus,

Thanks for linking to my blog, The Crime Blog.

The podcast is definitely neutral on the subject matter of Cheney. I also talk about President Bush and the implications of sending the President to the middle-east.

Thanks again!
Daniel
The Crime Blog

Tom said...

Thanks for linking to my site.. (www.congresscheck.com)

I'm attempting to be as unbiased as possible by putting the propaganda from both sides in the same place. People should be able to decide for themselves what is the truth or not. What I believe has no effect on what I post.

If you think i'm being bias'd, please let me know :)

You can contact me via email at tsenseless06@yahoo.com

-Tom