Accuracy in Media




The announcements from the left-wing Media
Matters group get funnier all the time. The organization is complaining that
some news outlets have accurately reported that Senator Joseph Biden, picked as
Barack Obama’s running mate, was drummed out of the 1988 presidential race for
plagiarism. Media Matters’ criticism of this truthful account is that Biden on
some other occasions had given credit to the person he stole the words from―a
British politician named Neil Kinnock. 

“Media outlets reported
allegations Biden plagiarized Kinnock, but not that he had previously credited
him,” says the Media Matters headline. This is like saying
that a convicted shoplifter paid for some items before and after he was caught
stealing.

Why on earth was Biden using somebody else’s
words, in the context of describing his own upbringing, in the first place?

It wasn’t just a matter of using a few words.
You can see a striking comparison of the Biden and Kinnock speeches here. Ironically,
this website, devoted to the proper techniques of college writing, says that
plagiarism “can destroy a career.” It hasn’t destroyed Biden’s. 

Rather than take the ridiculously absurd Media
Matters line, New York Times reporters Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny reported
that Biden “quit the 1988 presidential race in the face of accusations that he had
plagiarized part of a speech from Neil Kinnock, the British Labor Party leader
at the time” and that “Shortly afterward, he was found to have suffered two
aneurysms.”

Are they trying to imply that his brain problems
accounted for the plagiarism? That doesn’t make any sense because it was also
discovered that Biden had been found guilty of plagiarism in law school. But
the Times didn’t mention that. It also came out that Biden had lifted material
from a Bobby Kennedy speech.

Dan Balz of the Washington Post took a different
line. “Biden also will have his 1988 presidential
campaign and the charges of plagiarism that drove him from the race
resurrected, at least in these opening days as he is introduced as Obama’s
running mate. But that experience is long in the past and probably does not
present a significant problem,” he said.

On what basis does he make the
conclusion that it probably won’t be a significant problem? There is none. This
is simply the preference of the major media, which will do their best to make
sure it is not a significant problem. But when plagiarism happens in
journalism, it is supposed to be a big deal. 

Taking a different tack, Fred
Barnes, a writer for The Weekly Standard and Fox News Channel commentator, said
Biden had a “tendency
to exaggerate or embellish his accomplishments” but that his political career
“has flourished” since these incidents. He decided not even to use the word
plagiarism.

As children are sent off to school and parents
and teachers tell them that they are not supposed to cheat in their studies,
this is not an unimportant matter. How do you explain to your children that
they should be honest in their studies when somebody guilty of plagiarism is a
sitting member of the Senate and is running for vice-president? What does this
say about the character and integrity of the presidential nominee who picked
him? Obama must have figured that since the major media have failed to
seriously examine his background, they would be prepared to overlook or at
least minimize Biden’s history of plagiarism. It was a good bet.

This flawed nominee not only has a
history of plagiarism but a record of making noxious comments, such as
off-color remarks about people of color and congratulating Obama himself for
being physically “bright and clean.” No Republican senator could have survived
such a scandalous record of outrageous utterances.

A friend had a brief discussion with
Biden during a book signing in the spring at Rehoboth, Delaware.
Biden was autographing copies of Promises
to Keep
, which examines his life and Senate career, including the plagiarism
incidents. This individual was greatly concerned about the role of George Soros
in financing the drug legalization movement but knew that Biden had been
generally supportive of the war on drugs. She asked for Biden’s help in
exposing Soros’s influence in the political process. He replied, “I’ve been
spending a lot of time with Soros lately.” That ended the discussion.

You don’t have to be a
conspiracy theorist to detect the hidden hand of George Soros in Obama’s Biden
pick.

The media pundits say that Biden has
good foreign policy credentials. But that assumes that Biden has ideas of his
own and is not “borrowing” them from somewhere else. Soros is probably the
source of many of them. He has financially supported Obama, Biden and other
Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee.

What the public has to understand―and
the media are not making clear―is that Biden may be the strongest supporter of the
United Nations in the entire Congress today. He even supports an International
Criminal Court. Plus, he helped ram Obama’s pro-U.N. Global Poverty Act and the
U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty through his Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The former was accomplished with no hearings and the latter with stacked
hearings.

Years ago, Biden wrote
an article for the Wall Street Journal (assuming that he actually wrote the
article) under the headline, “How I Learned to Love the New World Order.” This
can only be understood by taking into account a pamphlet entitled, “NATO and
the New World Order,”  written by
billionaire George Soros, a major funder of Democratic Party politicians,
including Biden, and the left-wing of the party. The Soros plan, which is
identical to Biden’s, is to make NATO,
once an anti-Communist alliance, into a military arm of the U.N.  

As I have previously reported, back in 1993,
during hearings conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden
outlined the aggressive role that NATO was to play in Yugoslavia six
years later under the Clinton Administration. Biden said that “organizing for
collective security” meant “strengthening the U.N. by assigning to the Security
Council certain pre-designated military forces and facilities” and “converting
NATO into a military instrument for peacekeeping, and peacemaking, under U.N.
or CSCE [Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe]
auspices.”

Referring to Senator Claiborne Pell,
then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who faithfully carried
a copy of the U.N. Charter in his pocket, Biden said, “I will never forget, it
must be 13, 14 years ago this man suggested to me that article 43 [of the U.N.
Charter] was not used appropriately, we did not understand it, the world did
not respond to it properly, and so on. And now he is sitting here giving me
credit for initiating some congressional activity relating to article 43.” This
is the part of the Charter referring to nation-states providing military
assistance to the U.N. through various agreements.

The future of NATO, which was transformed into
an offensive military alliance by President Clinton without the benefit of a
treaty, should be a big issue of this campaign. Expanding NATO has meant
committing the U.S. Armed Forces to the defense of countless more countries
around the globe, even though NATO doesn’t have the strength, will or resources
to defend them.

If NATO transformation and expansion had been undertaken
in strict consultation with Congress and a new treaty submitted and ratified,
that would be one thing. Instead, Clinton
accomplished this mostly through executive action. Some conservative senators
protested at the time, but eventually acceded to presidential power and started
voting for new NATO members.

Senator John McCain seems to share the
Soros-Biden “vision” of what NATO should be. He, like Obama, has called for the
U.S. to be actively involved in growing international alliances, whether NATO
or a proposed League of Democracies, that could get our Armed Forces involved
in a series of conflicts and civil wars around the world that have absolutely
nothing to do with U.S. national interests. Since NATO has proven to be
incapable of seriously fighting terrorism in Afghanistan
or even condemning Russia
for its invasion of Georgia,
the value of this 26-nation alliance, said to represent 900 million people, has
to be questioned.  

Even if Georgia
had already joined NATO, does anybody seriously think NATO would have gone to
war against Russia?
The organization has become a paper tiger and substitute for the U.S. defending
its own national security interests. It is a bipartisan disaster that has held
out false hope to the freed peoples of the old Soviet republics. 

In this context, it is significant that the
McCain campaign has produced a TV ad that shows Biden saying on the Daily Show
that “I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think
the country would be better off.”

Highlighting such a comment may make Biden look
foolish, as he continues attacking McCain during the campaign. But it will also
highlight the fact that there’s really not a dime’s worth of difference between
them on some critical foreign policy issues. It also makes McCain look foolish,
since he comes across as grateful for the kind words of a disgraced foreign
policy “thinker.” 



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