Hypocrisy in Motion
Let's start by examining the lambasting of Newsweek over the publication of the Koran abuses story. Scott McClellan and the Bush Adminstration had the audacity to blame the violence and anti-American protests in the middle east on Newsweek -- Fox News was all over the story - carrying on the role of official Bush Administration's propaganda machine - with quotes like this:
"You can't go back and undo or retract the damage that has been caused not only to this nation, but to those who have been attacked, injured or killed as a result of these false allegations," he ( Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman) said.
"It's puzzling. While Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refuse to retract the story," press secretary Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met. In this instance it was not."
"Newsweek has apologized and retracted the story, but retraction and regrets will not atone for the reckless behavior of an irresponsible reporter and an overzealous publication," read Pryce's statement. "How many more lives have to be sacrificed until credibility can be returned to our newsrooms?"
"I do think it's done a lot of harm," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (search) told reporters on her way home from Iraq on Monday. "Of course, 16 people died but it's also done a lot of harm to America's efforts" to rehabilitate its reputation in the world.
Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, said Monday that "Newsweek's behavior is not merely unfortunate, it is criminal."
The preceding quotes were courtesy of Fox News (Newsweek Retracts Koran-Desecration Story and Questions Remain after Newsweek Admission)
A few days later, on a Friday afternoon, just before a long holiday weekend, the Pentagon released a statement stating that there have indeed been five cases of confirmed Koran abuse. So, it turns out that Newsweek was (pretty much) correct all along (Technically, the Korans were not flushed down a toilet, but there was one case where a Koran was accidently urinated upon through a vent) Guess we should expect an apology from the Bush Administration. How about some coverage of the story from Fox News? Yeah right...
This was the Republican Noise Machine in full force. Newsweek stepped out and published dissenting opinion, and was punished for it. Finally relenting to the full-on pressure of the republican attack machine, Newsweek retracted the story and vowed not to rely on single anonymous sources -- this was just one case in a series of defeats that the public has suffered in a long term, wide scale assault on the independent media from the Republican Attack Machine.
Exhibit B - Bill Moyers and PBS. The neocons have been at it again -- attacking PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for their supposed "liberal bias". PBS and CPB represent the last bastion of hope for uninfluenced, independent, non-corporate-sponsored thought. Even NPR has been influenced by the constant insinuations of liberal bias - I don't have a reference, but a study of the 2004 election coverage by NPR showed that they relied on conservative political commentators much more often than liberal political commentators.
If you didn't get a chance to listen to Bill Moyer's closing address at the National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis, Missouri last month, check it out here. This speech is a must read/listen. The truth of the matter is that all of the major networks represent either outright propaganda (Fox News), or at least a corporate-censored view the news. We are on the verge of living in Orwell's 1984 -- The media has become simply a mouthpiece of the neoconservative movement. We are in an age where the truth no longer seems to matter. Here's a short article on Bush Doublespeak (A term coined in the novel 1984)
Finally, lets take a quick look at the Downing Street Memo. I've been meaning to write this blog entry for about a month. I can't believe that it has taken almost a full month for the media to begin picking up the background story on this document. Put the pieces together here people -- As far back as 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Pearle, along with the Project For a New American Century were busy making plans to invade Iraq. The Downing Street Memo reads clearly: "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Get that? All along, the Bush Administration has wanted to take out Saddam's regime in an attempt to stabilize the middle east (Read: Stabilize global oil production to guarantee a healthy US economy)
This is the smoking gun. The Bush Administration lied to the people of the United States in order to justify the attack on a foreign nation. They knew that they intelligence they had wasn't enough to justify going to war. They had no interest in a diplomatic solution - Military action was now seen as inevitable. This memo leaked out, and, after almost a month there was barely a flicker on the radar of US news coverage. This is outrageous!
Thankfully, we have rep. John Conyers to help us stand up to the mendacity and duplicitousness of the Bush Administration. The Los Angeles Times is running a story on the Downing Street Memo. The Conyers hearing will air on C-Span3 at 2:30 PM on Thursday, June 16th.
Now, check out this quote: "F___ Saddam. we're taking him out", from the mouth of George W. Bush, at the top of the CNN article, in a March 2002 meeting. This was 2002, and the meeting was supposed to be about dealing with Iraq through the U.N. Bush wasn't listening....there was never any intention on seeking a diplomatic solution, and we now have the evidence to prove it.