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Your Corporate Media Thinks War Is Irrelevant

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Yes, but wasn’t American Idol on last night?

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) railed against the Washington press corps today on the House floor for paying more attention to the likes of scandal-ridden Eric Massa than the war in Afghanistan.

“There’s two press people in this gallery,” Kennedy yelled during a debate over an anti-war resolution. “We’re talking about Eric Massa 24-7 on the TV, we’re talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press? No press.”

“You want to know why the American public is fit?” he continued. “They’re fit because they’re not seeing their Congress do the work that they’re sent to do. It’s because the press, the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance and that’s the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It’s despicable, the national press corps right now.”

Kennedy’s comments came during a three-hour floor debate over a resolution sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would force President Obama to bring troops home from Afghanistan within 30 days, or longer if it were necessary because of safety issues.

A Case Study in Liberal Media

It got a brief mention on some of the cable channels, but the only major TV network that carried live coverage of this healthcare reform rally in D.C. yesterday was Fox – and then, only to ridicule it:

The reason? AHIP, the health insurance lobbying organization, was meeting in (where else?) the Ritz-Carlton. A coalition of groups led by unions including SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW and Health Care for American Now declared the meeting site a “corporate crime scene” and attempted to make a citizens’ arrest:

In a reverse twist on the old protestors’ tactic of getting arrested to make a point, union leaders and other backers of President Obama’s healthcare plan issued “citizen’s arrest” warrants for health insurance executives Tuesday – accusing them of exploiting consumers.

The “warrants,” delivered to police during a demonstration outside an insurance industry meeting at a Washington hotel, were an attempt to dramatize protestors’ call for insurance reform – and to build public support for the Democrats’ healthcare legislation.

The demonstration, which drew several thousand protestors from as far away as Illinois and California, was organized by groups that for more than a year have pushed Congress to create a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers as part of national healthcare overhaul.

While that policy objective, known as the public option, is not part of the healthcare legislation pending in Congress, the groups are nonetheless mounting a multi-million dollar campaign to promote the bill. The effort will continue in coming weeks, with more demonstrations, paid advertising and other events, including a hearing to take place Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Boy, there was a time when you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing someone about Tea Party rallies. I guess the only way you can get on TV these days is to be on the side of the insurance companies.

The Right of Succession

You may have been under the impression that we don’t have a monarchy in this country, but apparently we do – especially if you’re part of the Cheney gene pool:

Liz Cheney, a mother of five children, has become one of the sharpest and most outspoken critics of the new White House and has needled the Obama administration for failing to protect the nation against terrorism, and mollycoddling terror suspects while pursuing government lawyers who approved water-boarding, a method of inquisition she approves of. She called the president’s Nobel Peace prize a “farce”.

Pushed by friends and family, Ms Cheney is now reportedly contemplating a run for office herself either in Virginia, where she was raised, or in Wyoming, her parents’ home state.

A former senior state department official on the Middle East, the 43-year-old has already attracted favourable comparisons with as a more substantive version of Sarah Palin, another conservative working mother.

“She’s likely to seek office,” was the judgment of Karl Rove, the former chief adviser to George W Bush.

“I’d love to see her run for office someday,” said her father, 69, recently. “I think she’s got a lot to offer, and it’s been a great career for me, and if she has the interest, and I think she does, then I would like to see her embark upon a career in politics.”
In 40 television appearances in the past year, Ms Cheney has robustly defended her father against criticism that he was the sinister force behind war on terror policies that subverted the norms of American justice, arguing that he and Mr Bush did nothing illegal and kept the country safe after 9/11.

Imagine that. She’s been on TV forty times in the past year, for nothing more than her DNA and social connections. Yes, Marcy Wheeler calls her “Babydick” and points us to a piece in New York magazine about why NBC loves her so much:

Fox is a regular pulpit, of course, but Liz is also all over NBC, where she happens to be social friends with Meet the Press host David Gregory (whose wife worked with Liz ’s husband at the law firm Latham & Watkins), family friends with Justice Department reporter Pete Williams (Dick Cheney’s press aide when he was secretary of Defense), and neighborhood friends with Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, daughter of Carter-administration national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. When Mika criticized Dick Cheney on her show last year, the former vice-president sent her a box of chocolate cupcakes.

Lawrence O’Donnell, an MSNBC pundit who engaged in a particularly testy shouting match on Good Morning America with Liz Cheney over waterboarding, says the networks have allowed her a high degree of control over her appearances. “She had up to that point been completely accustomed to having interviews go her way and ceded on her terms,” he observes. “She has been careful to make sure that the interviews worked that way.”

Marcy also reminds us that Cheney was her father’s eyes and ears in the State Department:

What Hagan describes here, of course, is out and out insubordination (or rather, BabyDick’s insubordination layered on top of Bolton’s insubordination). But what he also makes clear is that not only was BabyDick wired into Bolton’s shop (and with it, discussions that would have revealed the genesis of Joe Wilson’s trip), but she also helped Wurmser accomplish his two-fold goal of thwarting State Department efforts to set up a broad-based Iraqi government (where OVP pressed Chalabi instead) and of setting up propaganda efforts–complete with their very own NYT shill, Judy Miller–to support claims they had found WMDs.

Not that that should be a surprise. But if you’re looking for news in this big blowjob of an article, that’s one tidbit of it.

How Can You Tell Karl Rove Is Lying?

His lips are moving, silly! From OpEd News:

In his new memoir, Karl Rove does what he does best. To explain away one lie, he comes up with another. He claims that Bush probably would not have invaded Iraq had he known there were no weapons of mass destruction there. Bush knew perfectly well that our WMD intelligence had been fully discredited. So did everyone else. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. It’s a lie that Bush and his apologists have been repeating for almost seven years.

And media bobbleheads have let them get away with it…

For the umpteenth time, on March 7, 2003 the U.N. inspectors reported that there was zero evidence that Iraq had ever made any attempt to develop a nuclear weapon after the Persian Gulf War. Those findings were later affirmed by Bush’s own Iraq Survey Group, which said “Iraq did not possess a nuclear device, nor had it tried to reconstitute a capability to produce nuclear weapons after 1991.”

As for other types of WMD, Hans Blix also found zero evidence of weapons of mass destruction, aside from a small number of empty chemical munitions, which should have been declared and destroyed. Blix also explained why the evidence previously presented by Colin Powell was bogus. On March 7, 2003, Blix said his team needed a few more weeks to complete their work. Germany, France and others went on the record, stating, “While suspicions remain, no evidence has been given that Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction or capabilities in this field.

Yeah, they didn’t want to acknowledge that the bombing runs ordered by Bill Clinton might have actually done the job — because the Republicans and their media enablers said Clinton ordered the bombing only to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Labor Unrest

This is pretty funny. Can you imagine the New York Times staffers doing such a declasse thing as actually picketing over job losses? (Which is why they’re bleeding jobs, I guess.) Compare that with France, where the laws are on the side of the employees. That’s because, as Michael Moore noted in “Sicko,” in America, people are afraid of their government and in France, the government is afraid of the people:

It’s not exactly the storming of the Bastille, but today will mark the second day of picketing outside the offices of the International Herald Tribune — all because the company is planning to chop the sports editor, Peter Berlin, and five other non-newsroom jobs in Paris.

One source said that the paper had always prided itself on “having a sports section tailored to readers outside the US. If they are getting rid of the sports editor, it sounds like they are just going to run more stuff out of New York.”

Four of the staffers will be spared if they accept similar jobs in Hong Kong.

One source said that due to European work rules and mandatory benefits, a worker in Hong Kong would cost the company less than the same person in Paris.

Sulzberger probably rues the day he convinced the Washington Post and the Graham family to hand over their 50 percent stake of the IHT, giving the Times full ownership of the money-bleeding daily.

In Paris, nothing can be done without a lot of meetings, and management has been in talks with the Comité Central d’Enterprise and various employee groups.

“We’ve proposed moving the one editorial job for economic reasons and also because we think it will improve our journalism by allowing that editor to start earlier in the Asia day,” said an IHT spokesperson.

Understand, it’s not that the Times organization doesn’t make money. It’s that they continue to chase obscene profit margins.

Deep Thought

Why are the people who encouraged or committed war crimes more trustworthy sources for the media than the people who opposed them?

Why Oh Why

Can’t we have a better press corpse?

Athenae’s right, as usual. And frankly, the whole thing makes me sick. Because as nauseating as the whole thing is, the double standard is even worse.

There is an anonymously sourced but on the record story out there (I can’t even get into my old archives or I’d dig it out for you) in which Newt Gingrich – the darling of network news shows – was allegedly getting a BJ from a staffer in the front seat of his car, in daylight, while waiting to pick up his kid from school. During the Clinton impeachment trial.

The timing seems to indicate that the staffer was his most recent (and suddenly quite Catholic) wife.

Did you ever read it on the front page? Heard about it on the talk shows? Nope. Wonder why? This is what a well-trained corporate news editor would call it: “Old news, let’s move on.”

But I thought it was a character issue. I know because the teevee told me so! And yet, contrary to the indoctrination, I really and truly don’t care what two consenting adults do with each other’s genitalia. In fact, I can think of few things more deserving of privacy.

I don’t care that John Edwards cheated on his wife; it’s between him and his wife. Bill Clinton, too. I liked their ideas. When I go into the voting booth, I’m not voting for priest or pope, I’m voting to support a specific set of policies. If I get to feel good about the person for whom I pull the lever, or even inspired, well, that’s gravy.

But the circus goes on.

President Newt

Charles Pierce is just as thrilled to read the praises of Newt Gingrich as I am…

I think that the Parson Meacham over at Newsweek may have set the Sucking Up To Vicious Idiots bar so high that in response, Time may blow out an ACL trying to get over it. How else to explain publishing, this brimming swine-trough of lies, phony history, pious nonsense, and disingenuous twaddle promoted by the single most duplicitous piece of pond-scum ever to be burped up along the Potomac? Newt Gingrich on the blessings of bipartisanship? Why not Newt Gingrich on how to support your wives in time of illness? There has to have been someone in the upper echelons of Time who said, “Look, folks, before we all go get lunch at 21, how’s about we talk again about printing something that is the exact equivalent of publishing a treatise on thoracic surgery written by Charlie Manson?”

Was everybody there drunk? Stoned? Out of town early for the weekend?

The persistence of the notion of Newt Gingrich, Political Genius, or of Newt Gingrich, Transformational Figure—or, in fact, any notion save that of Newt Gingrich, Opportunistic Hack–is going to puzzle scholars for centuries. Anyway, here’s a little something from last week, proving that he’s still a blight and that Time needs editors who aren’t so easily conned out of their money.

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