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'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
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'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
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Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
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Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
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Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

As usual.
By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2004 12:59pm PT  

In another fine example of how the mainstream, supposedly "Liberal" Media --- in this case CNN --- passes off White House propoganda as "news", take a look at this exchange from yesterday's Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff on CNN which further underscores a point made here recently (and re-published by the Democratic Underground) about the myth of a "Liberal" Media.

Note Judy's first question in the following exchange and how it would seem to have nothing to do with what she's just been told by the reporter. Also note how, in the end, a report/conversation that certainly sounds like news or analysis is anything but. Instead, it's a virtual echoing of the unsupported White House position that George W. Bush served honorably and was not AWOL from the National Guard in 1972:

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Judy. Perhaps you remember earlier this month, the Pentagon said that some key payroll records relating to President Bush's service in the Air National Guard some 30 years ago had been inadvertently destroyed in an effort to preserve the microfilm.

Now they say upon further checking, that is not the case. The records were intact and in fact have been found. They say that the reason they were confused before is they had the wrong records access number that was straightened out by a manager of the facility and they have found the payroll records for that quarter which was missing, which was in 1972, the third quarter including July, August and September.

The White House had maintained all along that even though the records were missing they were irrelevant because it was never claimed that President Bush accumulated flying hours during that time. Instead they said he fulfilled his service over a 12-month period and was honorably discharged from the Air Guard.

Nevertheless, the gap in the records caused critics to question what had happened to them. We do have the records now and they do show in fact, as near as I can tell from reading them that President Bush did not accrue any flying hours during that time. But again, the White House said that was irrelevant, but now the records have been found and the record is complete --- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So, Jamie, to clarify, this indicates that President Bush was present and putting his service while he was in the Air Guard, even though he wasn't flying, am I correct?

MCINTYRE: Well, it doesn't show that he accrued any credits during that three-month period, but again, the White House never asserted that he had during that three months. They say that he fulfilled his obligation over a 12-month period and that the records for that exist that show he accumulated the necessary points to have done what he was supposed to do. Critics charge at that point that he was away working on a senatorial campaign and was essentially AWOL for 12 months. The White House says that the documents refute that, but there was always a question about what this gap --- how this gap in the documents came by and now they say they've found that missing document.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jamie McIntyre with this late-breaking development out of the Pentagon. Jamie, thank you very much.

The fact of the matter is that nothing in the newly released documents shows that George W. Bush actually performed his required service in the National Guard. Nothing in any document has actually been able to prove that. Nor has a single witness to Bush's "service" in the last quarter of 1972 come forward to attest to his presence during that time. Not one.

If these newly released records do anything they serve to further underscore there is no proof that George W. Bush did what he claims, and instead likely deserted his post but was given an "honorable discharge" anyway for some reason. Not that having a father who had just become the chairman of the Republican National Committee after serving as ambassador to the United Nations in 1972 would make such a deserter more likely to receive said "honorable discharge".

None the less, the supposedly "Liberal" Media of CNN is happy once again to spin P.R. duties for the White House.

ReddIt this story!



Having none.
The Republican Party 2004
By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2004 12:20pm PT  

I was listening for a bit yesterday to Larry Elder (just another Rightwing Talk Radio personality, for those of you not familiar) as he was discussing again one of the most troubling threats to our country and democracy today: Linda Ronstadt.

A caller brought up the "good point", as Elder confirmed, that Americans aren't interested in what actors and performers have to say about our country. She further pointed out how amazed she was that any of these actors and performing artists would think that anyone in America actually cared about their opinions on anything.

The implication there being that, unlike trial-lawyer turned Rightwing Political Talk Radio celebrity Elder, or disk jockey at his father's radio station turned Rightwing Political Talk Radio celebrity Rush Limbaugh are somehow better qualified than these other Americans to give their political opinions.

They are smart, and have opinions worth listening to. But Whoopi Goldberg, Rob Reiner, Alec Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell, Linda Ronstadt are somehow much lesser Americans.

And of course, as we see frequently here on the BRAD BLOG from commentors like our friend "Paul", it's the janitors and secretaries and tech-support "professionals" at bankrupt companies like MCI/Worldcom who feel they somehow are more informed and better able to comment on important political issues than such lowly actors and performers.

Here's the ultimate irony though...As I've been pondering this, I can't really think of any Liberal, Progressive or Democrat Actors/Performers that the Left has actually put into office to make policy decisions for us!

It seems that only the Republican party elevates these "lowly actors" into office. Just a few that come to mind are Governor/President Ronald Reagan, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor/U.S. Representative Sonny Bono, U.S. Representative Fred "Gopher" Grandy, Senator Fred Thompson, Mayor Clint Eastwood. Heck, just last week the GOP was on their hands and knees begging Footbal Coach / Broadcaster Mike Ditka to represent them in the U.S. Senate! Now there's a fella with political acumen!

In other words, actors and performers who actually ply their trade on stage as they are trained and practiced in order to raise money and support a Democratic candidate: BAD!

Republican actors and performers who actually wish to make policy decisions (especially at the National level!): GOOD!

The continuing hypocrisy from the faltering Fake "say-anything-to-win" Conservatives just keep going...and going...and going. It's no surpise by now. But when one takes the time to ponder how black-and-white different the rhetoric is on the Right from what they actually do it still never fails to astound.

ReddIt this story!



Doonesbury/Fox News Edition
By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2004 3:29pm PT  

ReddIt this story!



Destroyed Pentagon records not destroyed after all!
By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2004 3:19pm PT  

The Bush Military Payroll records that might have exhonerated him and proved he actually served in the National Guard in Alabama were reported as "inadvertantly destroyed" by the Pentagon.

Today, however, the AP is reporting that they weren't destroyed after all! And they've been released to the AP. Problem is...there's still no record of George W. Bush having served from July to September of 1972:

Like records released earlier by the White House, the newly released computerized payroll records show no indication Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July, August and September of 1972. Pay records covering all of 1972, released previously, also indicated no guard service for Bush during those three months.

In the meantime, nobody has yet to claim the $10,000 prize offered to anyone who actually witnessed George W. Bush reporting for drills between May and November of 1972. The prize has been offered for months now by Doonesbury creator G. B. Trudeau. Still no takers.

ReddIt this story!



The Aladdin Hotel & Casino - in Bankruptcy.
By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2004 2:10pm PT  

Fahrenheit 9/11 continues to smash all records for documentary films. After a full month of release, it's still in the top 10 releases in the nation (moving from #4 to #6 as of yesterday) and will, by tonight or tomorrow, cross the unprecendented $100 million mark.

In related news, Michael Moore fan Linda Ronstadt will likely be invited back to the Aladdin in Las Vegas when the new owners take over in September. Moore has said he'd like to join Ms. Ronstadt during that appearance to sing "God Bless America" together and would screen F9/11 for free to all casino guests.

In a quote that may help explain why the Aladdin is currently in bankruptcy and preparing for new owners (Planet Hollywood, ironically enough), outgoing Aladdin President Bill Timmins elucidated upon his poor business judgement to CBS News, explaining why he had Ronstadt escorted off the property without even allowing her back to her hotel room first:

"If she wants to talk about her views to a newspaper or in a magazine article, she is free to do so." said Timmins. "But on a stage in front of four and a half thousand people is not the place for it."

Yes. How inappropriate for a performing artist to feel "free" to ply her trade in front of an audience! What could that woman have been thinking?! Where does she think she is? America?!

ReddIt this story!



...of convenience.
By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2004 11:22am PT  


"I have made it clear that our (the US unilateral) sanctions policy is wrong," he said when asked to comment on the Iran-Libya Act which contains provisions for sanctions to be imposed by the US against foreign companies making investment beyond US$20 million a year in the oil and gas sector of the targeted countries.

"He" is one Dick Cheney, Halliburton CEO and Former Sec. of Defense, speaking in Kuala Lumpur, April 20, 1998.

Whether or not Halliburton violated U.S. sanctions in dealing with Iran during the time that Cheney was its CEO is currently the subject of a grand-jury investigation.

The above quote was taken from a report by The Malaysian National News Agency, courtesy of the indefatigable Josh Marshall. More quotes from his speech can be found here.

ReddIt this story!



We've got Republicans in charge!
By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2004 6:56pm PT  

Have been busy, and didn't plan on hitting this until I had more time...but since this measure has already passed the House, it seems I better get the word out there.

BRAD BLOG commentor, O.P., is to be commended for his dilligence in keeping this one in front of my face.

It seems that after the Senate failed, to the embarrassment of the Bush Administration, to even muster a simple majority for their Gay Marriage Amendment to the Constitution that the House is hoping to up the ante. They're including a provision in their latest bill that would make it illegal for the bill itself to be reviewed in any way by the Judicial Branch.

Yes. You read that right.

You'd think that was a joke. But we're dealing with a party in desperation here. So the Republicans --- at least until the election --- have decided that the U.S. Constitution is just too darn limiting for the vision they have for America.

Here's part of the latest Homophobia Act (otherwise known as H.R. 3313 or the "Marriage Protection Act of 2004") that passed today in the House:

SEC. 2. LIMITATION ON JURISDICTION.

(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 99 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

Sec. 1632. Limitation on jurisdiction

No court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of section 1738c of this title or of this section. Neither the Supreme Court nor any court created by Act of Congress shall have any appellate jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of section 7 of title 1.

Okey doke, you "Conservatives" out there! Let's hear from you how this latest scam is another one of those terrific "Conservative" ideals that you think your representatives in the GOP are up there fighting for.

For good measure, O.P. was also kind enough to quote this part of that useless old document we refer to as the United States Constitution:

The United States Constitution, Article 3, Section 2, clause 1 :
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made

Silly antiquated U.S. Constitution! Even the Ultra-Rightwing former Congressman Bob Barr is intellectually honest enough to criticize the unconstitutionality of this bill. What a mess the hypocrites in the GOP have wrought.

No more Judicial Branch!!! Vote GOP this November!!!

ReddIt this story!



A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2004 10:40am PT  

Everywhere I go (and write) these days there still seems to be a collective sense of shock and/or disbelief from folks on both the Right and the Middle, and even on the Left --- who have been as mind-numbed as those everywhere else --- when I mention the supposedly "Liberal" Mainstream Media's bias towards the Bush Administration.

The bias is not so much because they are supporters of Bush Administration policies per se, but because they have been so cowed for so long by the Administration, and afraid of either losing their access or being labeled "Anti-Bush" or "Anti-American" or simply "unpatriotic" by the rabid Right, that they now err far on the opposite side of the matter. The result has been, over the past several years, that the Right and the Bushies who currently sit at the top of that pyramid have gotten a virtual free pass on everything from the 2000 Election to the Iraq War.

The supposed "Liberal" bastions of CNN and the NY Times are the most obvious examples. Whenever I mention their bias towards Administration positions, I am met with shock, disbelief and indignation from Right Robots everywhere. Of course. Who can blame them? They are behaving as they have been programmed to. (Just like the Mainstream Media!)

The fact that the NY Times all but abdicated it's duties as skeptical journalists, who are supposed to be looking out for our interests, during the run up to the Iraq War has been much discussed in the narrow band of the Blogosphere Left and largely ignored (by convenience?) amongst the more ubiquitous Rightwing and Mainstream (virtual Rightwing) Media.

A tepid and vaguely worded apology was recently issued by the Times for their disastrously inaccurate and misleading pre-war coverage, wherein they essentially echoed the Administration's flawed intelligence every day on Page One of America's "paper of record". The Times eventually apologized for "coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been" and that "In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged."

The Times information was largely spoon-fed to them without question by Ahmad Chalabi --- a man with a very specific mission to tell Americans whatever they needed to hear to encourage them (and us, and the world) towards over-throwing Saddam. He was also a man on the Administration payroll to the tune of some 300k per month. Their apology, of course, unlike the Page One stories, was a Page 14 blip on the media coverage scene. A more recent Op/Ed apology in The Times said that they "should have been more aggressive in helping our readers understand that there was always a possibility that no large stockpiles existed" and that they "did not listen carefully" to those who raised those doubts.

Judith Miller, the Times biggest Page One offender was never singled out by name in either apology, or apparently reprimanded in any way, for her nearly single-handed series of scores of flawed and misleading articles. It's all now too little, too late. As is usually the case when "the paper of records" prints something, many of those articles were then hailed by Bush supporters everywhere to shore up their case for war in every other newspaper and/or media outlet around the world. If, after all, even the "Liberal" NY Times says "Saddam has stockpiles of WMD's" and that "Iraq is a growing threat" then, of course, it must be true!

Of course, we now know it wasn't. But don't expect much more than a quick hand-wringing about that from the same Media that screwed it all up in the first place.

CNN is another supposedly "Liberal" Media outlet that carried the Administration water leading up to and throughout the "initial hostilities" in Iraq.

They, like the rest of what might have been a legitimate media in this country, were cowed from the very first hours after the 9/11 Attacks when FOX NEWS and other Rightwing Hacks accused them of being "unpatriotic" whenever one of their anchors considered the traitorous act of not wearing an American Flag lapel pin while on the air!

CNN's Christian Amanpour, almost alone, was critical of her own network and the many others who "embedded" themselves within the Administration in one way or another. She was, of course, met with much criticism back in September of 2003, when she publicly raised the issue. "I'm sorry to say," Amanpour told USA Today, "but certainly television and, perhaps, to a certain extent, my station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."

She went on to speak about how this self-censorship seeped its way into the coverage, or lack thereof; "It's a question of being rigorous. It's really a question of really asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels."

Now she tells us.

And now, with WMD's nowhere to be found, the Administration's "informants" proven to have been largley nothing more than opportunistic frauds, and the case for the war virtually shot to hell, it's not just the Bush Administration that is avoiding all mea culpas in not taking real accountability for their culpability in the unncessecary deaths of thousands in this bogus war. The very media that helped them convince America there was a good reason for all of it continue to act, with very few exceptions, like Amanpour above, as though they had no real responsibility in the matter.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN's most prominent face and "top" anchor continues business as usual. Despite so many of his sycophantic and unquestioning softball interviews with so many "top Administration Officials" prior to the war.

Sadly, as has been the case in America over the last few months, it turns out that the hard-hitting fake news program "The Daily Show", as demonstrated here recently, is one of the few voices regularly calling out the Mainstream Media for their vaccuous and inaccurate coverage that helped allow the Bush Administration to lead us into an unnecessary and ultimately self-destructive war.
In truth, the real scandal is how the "real" news outlets turn out to be "comedy", while our comedy shows turn out to be more like real news. We are well beyond the Looking Glass indeed.

Last Monday, the seemingly rather incurious Blitzer was interviewed by "The Daily's" Jon Stewart who didn't much hold back in his questioning of the man who, in no small part, was the "face" of American Media across the world in the panicked rush to war. The discussion was rather telling:

STEWART: Let me ask you...you work in news...[laughter] and I don't..the Senate Intelligence Committee, they come out with this rerport that says "Oh, the Iraq War...yeah, that's kind of a funny story...it was a mistake... [laughter] We were wrong about all that..."
BLITZER: Mmm-hmm...
STEWART: Taking the country to war based on information that turns out to be completely wrong because it was told to you by a guy named "Curveball"...[laughter]...Shouldn't that be...I mean, just out of curiosity...The biggest scandal we've ever had in the country?...Or no?...Am I thinking...
BLITZER: Well, you know...you never made a mistake in your life?
STEWART: That's a good point.
BLITZER: The CIA's not perfect, and sometimes they...get it wrong.
STEWART: That's right...
BLITZER: They got it wrong.
STEWART: And if...but in that situation, shouldn't someone be...fired? [laughter, applause]...or is it...I could be wrong...
BLITZER: Well, George Tenet did leave this weekend.
STEWART: After being told he was doing a "superb job"!
BLITZER: Yeah...in defense of George Tenet...I'll say this, we never know the successes, because they're kept secret. The failures we all know.
...
STEWART: Even the idea that the Senate Intelligence Committee has come up with this report...Wasn't their job to do that originally?
BLITZER: Originally, yes...That was looking back...
STEWART: Who's investigated them?
BLITZER: The American people. We have the right to investigate them. And the media...and look back and say "you know what, mistakes were made". [silence...then laughter]
STEWART: Okay...as far as the media...so now the CIA has gone back to their offices and said "Okay...no WMD"...Is the media doing anything?...Like at CNN do they have meetings were they say "uh, you know what? We should have asked that."
BLITZER: Uh, I think that...we do...we do do that.
STEWART: You have meetings? [laugter]
BLITZER: Yes, we have meetings.
STEWART: At those meetings...after, after you guys figure out who gets that last cruller...what does the media do differently?
...
BLITZER: I think we learn from our mistakes and try to it do better next time.
STEWART: Specifically?
BLITZER: Specifically...we learn from our mistakes and try to do it better next time. [laughter]

(Pardon the interruption, but I must interject here to note how much Blitzer there sounds like Bush last week when asked how he can still continue to claim that there were ties between Saddam and al-Qaeda. His answer: "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."

Anyway...back to the Blitzer interview...)

BLITZER: We look back and we say, "ya know what, we should have been more skeptical." [silence...then laughter].
STEWART: But, if...well, come on...it was a...
BLITZER: You know we're trained to be skeptical by our very nature...that's what journalists...
STEWART: Why weren't you?...Because people...
BLITZER: I think we could have been more, skeptical...I think we...Look...I...
STEWART: Are you afraid of the Bush Administration?...Is the Bush Administration so ham-handed --- and this is coming from a Jew who knows nothing of ham [laughter] --- but are they so forceful...
BLITZER: No...
STEWART: ...that they have intimidated the press corp into not asking those questions?
BLITZER: No. The answer's no.
STEWART: So...is the Press Corp...and again, I'm gonna use the word...suffering from "groupthink"?...[laughter]...Or, or, or...another word...retardation? [laughter, cheers] No come on..really, tell me truth. I wanna know. I'm really curious. I'm baffled.
BLITZER: It's "groupthink"...not retardation.
STEWART: It is "groupthink"?
BLITZER: ..."groupthink"...You know when you're told...repeatedly...and I was told by...going into the war...I went off to the war...I went off to Kuwait, you probably remember.
STEWART: I do remember seeing you in Kuwait City...
BLITZER: So...Uh, I, I remember going off. I had all the briefings. I went over. Got the briefings from the CIA, the Pentagon, spoke to all the members of Congress, the Intelligence Committees, the House side, the Senate side...Everybody said the same thing: "There is no doubt there are stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons...and it's only a matter of time before he has a nuclear bomb"...Remember, Condoleeza Rice said on my show...Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer [laughter]...She said, "we can't wait for a smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
STEWART: You're exactly right...and as it turns out Pakistan had already sold "mushroom cloud material" to every country in the area but Iraq! [laughter, cheers] ...It's crazy! The whole thing's crazy! Whooo...Whooo-hooo! [Stewart spins around madly in chair]

Yes, Jon...the whole thing's crazy. And Wolf sums his failure up nicely; Prior to the war, he asked everyone who was in favor of going to war, why we should be going to war. Apparently, though he claims to be "skeptical by [his] very nature", he was not skeptical enough to report on, or give coverage to all of the many voices out here who had different opinions on the efficacy of this thing before it actually happened. Wouldn't want to jeopardize that primo Administration access now would we, Wolf?

A study by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting released in March of 2003, looked at the interviews conducted by CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS in the one week before and then after Colin Powell gave his now infamously misleading (and factually incorrect!) address to the United Nations. Of the 393 interviews during those two weeks on the four major broadcast networks, only three of those interviews were with individuals who were "skeptical of or opposed to the invasion of Iraq."

That means that nearly 97% of what Americans saw on their nightly news was little more than a constant drumbeat for going to war. So much for the myth of the "Liberal" Media.

None the less, some of us who were paying close attention heard all the warnings beforehand. From former Middle East envoy and chief of Central Command in the Middle East, Scott Ritter, from the head of the International Atomic Energy Association, Mohamed al-Baradei and a host of others, who told us --- usually via the tiniest mentions in the Mainstream Media, if that much, more frequently on their own websites or reported via the independent internet websites --- that the WMD were not there, Saddam had no "mushroom cloud material" and the plan for War was simply ill-conceived from the get go.

We, the few of us bothering to pay very close attention on our own, even heard the warnings George W. Bush's own father, who has more than a little familiarity with issues in that tricky and dangerous part of the world. The former President warned in his own memoirs that "Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. ... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. ... [T]here was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

In other words, all of the warnings were out there, yet CNN and the The NY Times and the rest of the Network Broadcast Media, in the wake of blistering criticism from the Right after 9/11 for not being "patriotic" enough, didn't bother to be skeptical enough because that would have required they be --- potentially --- critical of the Administration in their reporting. Which, in turn, would have been "unpatriotic" and/or "un-American" as charged by the folks that have been charging for years that these outlets are "house organs of the Liberal Left" anyway.

They weren't skeptical enough. They should have been. And nearly 900 Americans have now given their lives, thousands more have given their limbs, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians are all dead because of it.

Yes, as the recent Senate Intelligence Report indicates, the CIA blew it. So did the Bush Administration. But make no mistake, the Media --- Mainstream and otherwise --- have the same blood of incompetence, abdication of duty, cowardice and failure of intellectual curiosity on their hands. "Liberal" Media, indeed. Failed, cowed, culpable Administration Media lap dogs appears much closer to reality for anyone willing to look at the actual evidence.

With so many dead, so many failures, it would be nice if that Media started dealing more in reality. For the good of this country. (Which is usually for the good of this world, I might add.) No matter how many Administration Officials or Rightwing Extremist Partisans might cut off their access and baselessly call them names and threaten boycotts because of it.

Message to the Media: Yes, politicians of both the Left and the Right will tell you whatever they are interesting in selling. That's their job. It's your job to get the real story! Not simply serve as a PR outfit for the politicos! We've got xerox machines for that! And we shouldn't have to rely on fake news shows on cable comedy channels for the real news and the hard-hitting interviews. In other words, find some courage and some of that skepticism you claim to have "by nature", and start doing your frickin' job! How many more have to die to remind you of what you should be doing?

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Internet Gossip Monger Hits New Low
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 6:28pm PT  

The ad to the left, is currently running on the Drudge Report website. Clicking on the ad, as if the text isn't bad enough, reveals even more: "After all whom would Osama vote for?"

BRAD BLOGGERS likely understand that the answer to the above question is perhaps not what these despicable "Authentic GOP" folks would like their target audience to believe, but we're clearly not dealing with brain surgeons over there. At least not in their target audience.

With stuff like that (and other examples of same that we've shown previously, here and here for example) coming out of the Right, it's safe to say that this is a party in big trouble. The final 9/11 Commission Report comes out shortly, and early word is that it doesn't look good for Bush. Not to mention the plummetted poll numbers in the "battleground" states right now for Dubya.

So, it's desperation time, I guess. What other excuse could there be for such atrocious rhetoric comparing a war hero, decades long civil servant and Presidential nominee like John Kerry to Osama bin Laden? No matter what side of the political spectrum you come from!

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By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 6:01pm PT  

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Ridiculed, Petitioned and Trounced
(Reaping what he's sown?)
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 5:45pm PT  

First he's made to look like a boob in the new documentary, OutFoxed, which outs the Republican Fox News channel and it's Number #1 Republican for what they really are.

Then MoveOn.org collects signatures to send to the FTC to complain about the false and misleading labelling of the Fox news product as "fair and balanced". They use an hysterical clip from OutFoxed to help make their case. (Feel free to join that petition, by the way)

And then comes the news, as reported by Drudge, that O'Reilly's greatest nemesis (one of 'em, anyway) Al Franken trounced po' po' O'Reilly on the radio in New York City. Yes, Al's little-bitty show that "nobody wants to listen to", as so many frightened and silly Right-wingers will tell you, and indeed have posted here, cleaned O'Reilly's clock in the largest market where they actually go head to head.

I guess nobody's looking out for Bill O'Reilly.

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Not a moment too soon for the GOP!
Yet July is on track to be one of the bloodiest months so far.
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 2:12pm PT  

Don't be fooled by the Administration lap dogs, on and in the Mainstream and Extremist Media, when you hear that "things are finally cooling down in Iraq since the handover of 'sovereignty'". It's not so much that things have cooled down, but that the Media has - as is their pattern - begun to grow weary of the story.

The facts on the ground, as this Boston Globe piece demonstrates, are likely very different from the perceptions you're being peddle by the bulk of the Mainstream Media:

Nearly as many US soldiers lost their lives in Iraq in the first half of July as in all of June, even as Iraqi insurgents seem to have shifted focus from attacking US targets to aiming instead at Iraqi security forces and government officials.

The relatively high rate of US military casualties has dimmed hope that the handover of power to the Iraqi government would help stabilize the country and reduce pressure on US soldiers.
...
Since the June 28 handover of power, the 160,000 coalition forces have averaged more than two deaths a day, among the highest rate of losses since the war began 15 months ago. By Saturday, 36 US soldiers had died this month, compared with 42 last month, according to a Globe analysis of official statistics.

Looks like I'll have to begin reporting more of the real numbers here, since the "Liberal" Media seems to be moving on from the story as is their tendency. Lest I be guilty of the same short attention span I accuse them of having.

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Iraq Politicized
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 12:30pm PT  

It happened long ago, of course, but the chart at left clearly shows how much one's opinions of the Iraq War are likely based in political ideology. There is a stunning divide in this country, as if you didn't know already. The one sided opinion of the Republican's shown here, is extraordinary. Though so is the Democrat's response (if not quite as much). The telling numbers here, however, are from the "Independents", of whom a majority see the war as a mistake. It is their response that is likely less politically based than either of the other two groups, and they are, after all, the ones who will be deciding the election this year. It's a good sign that the majority of those folks now seem to be "getting it".

You can fool some of the people, some of the time...

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A Splash of Cold Privately Owned Water
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 12:08pm PT  

Hope to blog more about it later, but time is somewhat short today. Saw The Corporation last night, another excellent documentary in this --- apparently --- Year of the Documentary!

It's perhaps an overly-long, but overly-fascinating look at the Corporation in today's American/Worldwide Global Marketplace. Their history, from how they were established to be "a person" for all legal intents and purposes, through their modern day presence in every facet of our lives (realistically, legally and emotionally), through their current and future place as a force more powerful even than the Nation States that once regulated them.

The framework for the film, examining The Corporation as the legal entity of "a person" with all the rights thereof, but without any of the moral or ethical considerations or obligations, makes the case that if, in fact, the Corporation were "a person" it could well be considered --- in most cases --- to have the psychopathic tendencies of a serial killer.

Many corporate CEO's are interviewed throughout the film and not all are portrayed as villians. In fact, the argument is well-made that the CEO's are doing largely what we ask of them, and what they are legally bound to do in the wake of an Industrial Revolution that may have been ill-conceived from the start. Or at best, an Industrial Revolution run amok in an unsustainable chase for ever-increasing profits despite the costs to humanity, privacy and/or the limits of the environment. Several (though not all) of the CEO's interviewed are clearly wrestling with their corporate responsibilities versus their conscience as human beings on this planet. The revelations are sometimes encouraging, there are some clear heroes here, though frequently rather troubling.

It's an eye-opener worth seeing for anybody who has lived through the late part of the last century, and early part of the current one. There have been some stunning changes in the way Corporations effect every facet of our lives, especially over the last thirty years or so --- from marketing to parents via their infants, to the commercialization/privatization of Public schools, land, water and precious resources --- and most of it has been so insidiously gradual that it often has gone largely unnoticed by those of us who have accepted the encroachment of the Corporate culture into our every day lives without much notice or regard to the larger implications.

For those of you (like myself) who frequently wonder what all the hub-bub is about every time demonstrations and riots break out at a WTO conference or a meeting of the IMF, this film may provide some very specific answers.

It'll likely send a chill down your spine when you hear how the corporate powerhouses of Rupert Murdoch, Fox and Monsanto colluded to keep you from learning of the cancerous dangers from synthetic bovine hormones in the milk you drink and other machinations that are undoubtedly in the interest of short-term profit-making, if not in your best interests for a long and healthy life.

There are too many notable and fascinating segments to go into much detail for the time being. But I highly recommend you give it a look yourself. The Corporation is playing, or coming to a theater near you this summer. You can view trailers and clips online here.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 11:20am PT  

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