Two Short Ones From UPI…

-By Warner Todd Huston

Today, I have two short United Press International stories that each have bias in them, but aren’t worth a long, drawn out fisking of their own. So I’m combining them into one Newsbusters report. The first UPI report characterizes a Dutch anti-Islam cartoon as having been “found most offensive,” as if it were universally accepted that it is, indeed, offensive and the second is a ridiculous report that is treated as “news” when it is really nothing but meaningless nonsense dressed up as news — the second having the ulterior motive of stirring hatred against the eeevil “rich.”

First up is “Cartoonist honored for Mohammed portrait” where UPI reports that the Danish artist who drew the “controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban” has been honored with the Sappho Award by the Danish Free Press Society. This is all good news but the UPI couldn’t help but slip in some of their own bias against this brave artist in the last two paragraphs of the report. (my bold emphasis)

Farshad Kholghi, a Muslim actor who belongs to the society’s Internet publication, presented the award, saying he is “proud” of Westergaard.

Why the scare quotes around proud? Why does the fact that the man was proud of the cartoonist for braving death threats with his cartoon need to be doubted or unduly highlighted by quote marks? Should we have cause to doubt that Mr. Kholghi is “proud”? Is “proud” not to be believed?

Next was this:

The publication of the Westergaard’s cartoon and others in the right-wing newspaper Jyllands Posten set off an uproar in the Muslim world, triggering boycotts of Danish products and attacks on Danish embassies. The cartoons varied, with at least one attacking the newspaper, but Westergaard’s was the one found most offensive.

There was no real reason to point out that Jyllands Posten is a “right-wing newspaper” in this report. It does nothing to put the cartoon in perspective, really. Worse, why was the Muslim’s side of the argument assumed in this report? Why was the cartoon “the one found most offensive”? Found so by whom? The way this is written it is presented as fact that this cartoon was “found most offensive” as if it was a universal declaration. But in reality only radical Islamists found the cartoon “most offensive.” The proper way to write that would have been to clarify exactly who it was that found the cartoon offensive instead of just saying it as a fact that it “was the one found most offensive” as if just everyone agreed that this was so. And, lastly, you’ll also notice that “right-wing” was bandied about but nowhere in the report was “radical Islamists” or “Islamofascist” used to identify the other side of the argument. Why did we have to point out a “right-wing newspaper” but no mention of the radical, haters in Islam were identified by an ideological handle?

UPI turned from praise of the cartoonist to flavoring the report with rhetoric against him right in the middle of the story and then gives the benefit of the doubt to the radical, hatemongers in Islam.

And now the utterly stupid report.

In “Poll: Wealthy should be taxed more” we get fluff, junk, blind assumption and pointless polls all at once.

Here is the whole short report:

A majority of adults in eight countries, including France, Great Britain and China, said the wealthy should pay higher taxes, a Harris Poll indicated.

The figures ranged from just more than half — 51 percent — of survey respondents in France indicating the wealthy should be taxed more to 77 percent in Japan, who indicated the same, Harris Poll reported Friday.

Respondents with lower incomes in all eight countries — including the United States, Spain, Germany and Italy — had “stronger” views on the subject, the report said. Among lower income groups, the range started at 61 percent in the United States and stopped at 90 percent in China.

A majority of respondents in all eight countries indicated the gap between the rich and poor in their homeland was too wide. In Germany, 87 percent indicated the gap was too wide. Respondents from Japan indicated the gap was too wide 64 percent of the time.

The Financial Times/Harris Poll survey of 8,748 adults was conducted April 30-May 14

It all amounts to a big “who the heck cares”? So they ask a bunch of poor people who have been raised since birth to hate the rich, they also ask in countries where capitalism is not the norm as much as is socialist dogma, and they find that people want the rich to be taxed into oblivion?

Gee, whadda surprise!

Anybody with half a brain could have told these “researchers” that most people would be ready and willing to tax rich people more. Can you say “duh”?

This is a stupid report. It is meaningless because the issue is not being debated or discussed in context to anything but the respondent’s hatred, jealousy, greed, and self-pity indulged in to the hilt. There is nothing of worth in this idiotic report and even less in the polling done by these pollsters. But it does do one thing that UPI wants done. It helps stir up hatred against the rich and support for big brother government. And THAT is the only reason this stupid, pointless, unscientific and useless report was issued for public consumption.

So, there we have two UPI reports and the bias contained within explained.


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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