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Liberal Media Bias, My…Foot

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Well, much as we’d like to have ignored politics forever, the absurdity of modern life keeps drawing us back like a chocoholic to an Oreo cookie.

The latest is how the blogosphere and web are alive with the sound of music. No, that’s not right. They’re raging infernos of outrage directed against the media for failing to adequately cover the Downing Street memo–proving once and for all that reporters, most of whom work for mega-conglomerates where wealthy contributors to the Bush Bubble Machine sit astride the Constitution as if it were a porta-potty.

Whew…what a sentence. Read that one again.

If that were all, I’d go back to sleep, but a Frank Rich editorial in last Sunday’s New York Times is the real story. (Since the Times won’t let you in unless you’ve got a subscription, I’ll liberally steal from his article.)

Basically, Rich argues that the current Administration’s muzzling and intimidation of the press makes Nixon & his band of wild and crazy guys look like a bunch of contestants on “American Idol” — that testament to the coming Fall of the American Empire. But I digress.

Here’s Rich talking about how Bush & the Bushettes are handling the First Amendment, and look who he cites:

    The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before’ was how the former Nixon speech writer William Safire put it on this page almost nine months ago. The current administration, a second-term imperial presidency that outstrips Nixon’s in hubris by the day, leads the attack, trying to intimidate and snuff out any Woodwards or Bernsteins that might challenge it, any media proprietor like Katharine Graham or editor like Ben Bradlee who might support them and any anonymous source like Deep Throat who might enable them to find what Carl Bernstein calls ‘the best obtainable version of the truth.

The media aren’t liberals–they’re wimps.

    The attacks continue to be so successful that even now, long after many news organizations, including The Times, have been found guilty of failing to puncture the administration’s prewar W.M.D. hype, new details on that same story are still being ignored or left uninvestigated. [RE: the Downing Street memo] In the 19 daily Scott McClellan briefings that followed, the memo was the subject of only 2 out of the approximately 940 questions asked by the White House press corps. This is the kind of lapdog news media the Nixon White House cherished.

    The main difference is that in the Nixon White House, the president’s men plotted behind closed doors. The current Administration is now so brazen it does its dirty work in plain sight.

    In the most recent example, all the president’s men slimed and intimidated Newsweek by accusing it of being an accessory to 17 deaths for its errant Koran story; led by Scott McClellan, they said it was unthinkable that any American guard could be disrespectful of Islam’s holy book. These neo-Colsons easily drowned out Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai, both of whom said that the riots that led to the 17 deaths were unrelated to Newsweek.

    Then came the pièce de résistance of Nixon mimicry: a Pentagon report certifying desecrations of the Koran by American guards was released two weeks after the Newsweek imbroglio, at 7:15 p.m. on a Friday, to assure it would miss the evening newscasts and be buried in the Memorial Day weekend’s little-read papers.

Well, enough plagiarism. If you’re not disgusted by now–liberal or conservative–you need to get your outrage meter checked. Or move to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, or any country where the word of the master is the word of God.

What is wrong with us, Mr. & Mrs. & Miss & Ms. America???

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Eric Olsen

    please look at the coding now Mark, that’s how you do the indent and the link, which is also the same in comments.

  • Nancy

    Oh, I dunno, I kind of like his p.o.v., since I subscribe to what he says, being ardently anti-Bush. Not anti-Republican, mind you: anti-Bush. Big difference.

  • Ah, Nancy, a person of sagacity and intellect. Absolutely write…I find both the Dems & Reps equally repugnant as a breed–and usually quite interesting and thoughtfull as individuals.

    It’s when mongrels congregate that bad things happen.

    Eric, you show off! I’ll check the post to see how it’s done. (While we’re at it, how are you at fixing wayward computers?

  • Eric Olsen

    I am strictly a “user” and I only know what I need to know to use it

  • So the NYT is still publishing articles by idiots. Good to know.

    One wonders how Frank Rich or the editors of the NYT managed to forget what actually went on during the Nixon years, for example blackmailing journalists and tapping their phones – excesses to which the Bush administration has never resorted.

    If there’s a problem here it’s that the media have made themselves weak. There’s no indication that the administration is leaning on them particularly hard.

    As for the DSM story, as has been covered here extensively already, not only was it more than adequately addressed by the media, but the reason only two questions were asked about it is that it’s basically a non-story. Some people have tried to make it into a cause celebre, but the truth is that it’s not terribly newsworthy. Some leftist pundits calling it a ‘smoking gun’ doesn’t make it any more controversial when the content is so relatively innocuous.


  • Mark Schannon

    Hey, you callin’ Frank Rich an idiot?

    My dear fellow, whatever you think of Mr. Rich, I think you inadvertently made his point. The Nixon scoundrels relied on behind the scenes activities that to this day make me wonder what was going on while America slept.

    Rich’s point–and I agree–is that the Bush folk are so brazen and arrogant that their intimidation of the media is out front for all to see.

    I agree the media has made itself weak thanks to a whole host of administrations allow mega-corps to buy, gut, and tame reporters. But I most heartily disagree with your point that this administration hasn’t leaned on them particularly hard.

    They (in the broad sense of the vast right-wing conspiracy that includes every nut with a computer and a blog) have been absolutely brutal & duplicitous. And they lie.

    The point I was trying to make in my post before I got carried away with high rhetoric is that the “memo” does have a much ado about nothing quality. (Good Lord, there’s gambling going on in this establishment.) That’s why I cited the Rich article which goes far beyond that.

    In Jameson’s Veritas.

  • Eric Olsen

    As a politcal commentartor Frank Rich is a good theater critic

  • Maurice

    DSM again! I am not able to come to this site as often as I would like, but for the last month every time I’m here there is a post about DSM.


    This non-issue has gotten way too much press!