READER COMMENTS ON
"NBC White House 'Reporter' Chuck Todd: Torture Investigation Little More Than Cable 'News Catnip'"
(28 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 2:19 pm PT...
The only mainstream comments I saw about it were from Olbermann. He made a laughingstock of the proposed special prosecutor because:
The DoJ lawyers who justified torture wouldn't be prosecuted.
The people who carried out the orders to torture wouldn't be prosecuted.
The people who went overboard and tortured beyond the 'approved' methods wouldn't be prosecuted if they acted in good faith.
Who is left to prosecute? The people who were actually tortured?
That pretty much summarized what I know of the 'leaked' situation. If the prosecutor isn't going to go after Yoo and at LEAST pursue disbarment if not actual criminal charges, then what is the point? Make it a REAL investigation and then I'm 1,000% behind it. By starting out with a farcical premise, the entire thing is a waste of time, imo.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 2:42 pm PT...
I'd agree with you on your conclusions, but for the fact that the details about who will be prosecuted (and, more to the point, who wouldn't) are still highly speculative and seem to come from only anonymous sources in the Times, WaPo and WSJ. Scott Horton's sources suggest otherwise. But it all remains highly speculative at the moment.
Even if the small potatoes were targeted at first, it seems unlikely that wouldn't lead quickly up the food chain as they all tried to save themselves in any case.
I discussed all of that a bit in my previous article on this matter.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 2:57 pm PT...
This may be a stretch but I'm gonna make it...
This torture prosecution could start out like Watergate did. At first it was a non-story, then it was just the low level cubans who were caught after the break-in...Then questions started to be asked about how high this went into the administration...and we know where Watergate ended.
Let's hope someone besides just Brad and those like him have the journalistic guts to stay with this.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 3:42 pm PT...
It'll be more tenaciousness and indefatigability (sic?) than guts, methinks, BlueHawk, to keep things moving forward. At least that's been the pattern for years and years now (see Plame case, Election Integrity issues, WMD lies, etc. etc.), where it's been the blogosphere who sticks with it to eventually push things into the "mainstream" to the point they can no longer be avoided by the insider clowns (corporate MSM, politicos, etc.)
The good news is there are many more of us now than there were years ago. Folks like Wheeler, Greenwald, TPM, etc, won't likely be letting up. And, luckily, with all of their failings, we at least now have folks like Maddow and Olbermann who are willing to report on this stuff. Years ago, there was nobody in the TV media. Period.
But it's still a long slog, unfortunately, to get the "elites" to do the right thing these days. Incredible, really, after all these years! But that's what we still have to deal with.
I'll stay with it if you will!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 4:25 pm PT...
I'll keep my fingers crossed that the whole topic turns into more than just a whitewashing.
The problem with expecting it to balloon into more than just an investigation of events that went overboard even by Cheney and Yoo's standard of acceptance, is that many of the key facts are ALREADY known.
1. Bush and Cheney approved torture before Yoo's memo.
2. Yoo's memo is basically so poorly done that its grounds for disbarment at the least.
Since those things are ALREADY known, its hard to expect that a prosecutor appointed to ignore those things would ever touch on them. Its not like hes going to suddenly 'uncover them', because they're already known.
Now like I said, I'm 1,000% behind a REAL investigation. In my eyes a REAL investigation would start with under-oath interviews with Cheney, Bush, Yoo, Ashcroft (or whoever was AG then), etc. It would then proceed down the chain as necessary to confirm/disprove any prior testimony.
I think expecting a watergate type of trickle-up investigation to happen is just wishful thinking (although maybe thats the only realistic hope for ever prosecuting this thing).
Think if the watergate investigation started as: "We know the president tried to cover up a break-in so we're not going to prosecute the president or anyone affiliated with the break-in, we're only going to prosecute people who did things way worse than breaking in to steal sensitive information." That is the equivalent of this story, imo, and that is WHY it SHOULD be ridiculed.
I don't think the ridicule means the topic should be forgotten or shelved. I think the ridicule means a SERIOUS investigation ACTUALLY should happen, including Yoo and all of the criminals that instigated torture in known violation of major international treaties we are part of.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 4:29 pm PT...
I guess in summary: I think its GOOD to ridicule the 'leaked' information, to pur MORE pressure on the DoJ for a REAL investigation.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 6:08 pm PT...
Off Topic- Jezzzz, I just saw some of Obama's speech to the NWACP and it brought tears to my eyes. I do so wish he were an inarticulate buffoon like Bush, I could just stop holding out hope for his Administration on something like the restoration of the Republic.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 7/16/2009 @ 11:03 pm PT...
Brad, you rightfully give Greenwald credit here. I read his article and the transcript of the follow-up podcast he did with Todd. It is a good example of accountability journalism.
However, I think your use of the word "failure" is a misnomer. We are talking about typical, routine, standard behavior of the media. In other words, what we know to expect. Failure suggests not meeting expectations.
If "failure" is a relevant word, it belongs in quotes, as you gave "coverage" and "journalism." Todd's arguments defending such "failure" are as hollow as those saying Yoo memos created a genuine belief in the legality of torture. It is no more a failure than Fox repeatedly placing a D beside the name of scandalized Republicans.
Aside from that, we all know these are weapons of mass deception so it is important to treat the weapon as such. Thanks for all you do to defend and protect us from the weapon, Brad, turning it around and using it as a tool against the corporate/military/government/media juggernaut.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 2:04 am PT...
Maximize the fake crime; minimize the real crime.
Give Chuck a promotion!
We impeached a president for spuzzing on a blue dress, but we can't seem to...
Oh, never mind.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 2:10 am PT...
I don't think it's a "failure" like Brad, but I'll go one step further than Dave who says "typical behavior": I am convinced that the corporate media acts the way they do "on purpose". It's their job to mislead the masses. On behalf of the government, military, and extreme richest few. The structure of the media was in place, why reinvent the wheel? Infiltrate it. Part of the plan that's essential to throw you off is to call it the "liberal media", there's a whole group who's job that is, including Rush Limbaugh. So you think it's liberal. It isn't. All of this is on purpose, it's not a failure and it's not "they're not doing their job". They're doing their job. This is exactly their job.
In this example, it's the "liberal" media's JOB to pooh pooh Holder investigating torture. It's not a failure. Rather, they ARE doing a good job. That is their job. Don't expect a "turnaround".
How many times are we going to hear the phase "the media's finally doing their job"? When they're doing what they SHOULD do? THAT is when they're not doing their real job, which is to mislead. THAT is the "fluke", when they do something like the Watergate reporting.
That's just the way I feel about it, that' the only thing that makes total sense.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 2:12 am PT...
Did the government create their own telephone system to spy on us? No, they infiltrated AT&T, etc...the NSA wiretaps, which we saw they got immunity from by the same government that infiltrated them. Correct?
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 2:19 am PT...
CNN repeats but does not investigate --- that Dick Cheney, the CIA, and the Bush administration did absolutely nothing wrong.
I rest my case! "REPEATS BUT DOES NOT INVESTIGATE". THAT is doing their job! They are supposed to repeat what the CIA says, so it looks like they are saying it, and not the CIA. It IS the CIA!
But remember: it's the "liberal media", we're supposed to think that (wink wink).
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 7:35 am PT...
Big Dan...all great points.
What you're speaking of is what's called the Right Wing's *psyops* program. It's been in full force since Reagan.
It's been a well planned deliberate misinformation and smear campaign against truth and the American psyche. It's purpose is to indoctrinate the masses with misinformation in order to further the aims of the corporate-wall street-right wing agenda. The corporate consolidation of news organizations was the final piece they needed. The fascist state was complete...
They had Reagan (the actor) who was simply the right wing mouthpiece in charge, they had the financial backing of corporate America and Wall Street and control of the media...
There is now a whole generation of Americans who haven't heard the truth in their lifetimes. They've only heard and been programmed with right wing falsehoods and mendacious rhetoric. Right Wingers until W Bush's 2nd term had effectively silenced, marginalized and smeared as unAmerican the Left.
I'm old enough to remember when the Left was simply referred to as "bleeding hearts"...but since Reagan's presidency the Left and liberalism has been ridiculed and mocked as effete, communist, unAmerican, terrorist loving enemies of the state. The Left bears responsibility in this as well...a lot of Leftists sold out and joined the mainstream, the Left seemed to lack the courage of their convictions in the face of the Right Wing assault on their character. That timidity played right into the Right Wing's playbook.
Americans resorted to consumerist escapism and became dumb and manageable. That also played into the Right Wing's plans...It's what they wanted and needed; a compliant fully misinformed and dumbed down population.
Thank god for the internet and blogs...it's gonna turn the tide to truth again.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 8:03 am PT...
Greenwald did a great job in the follow up interview with Chuck Todd, who is apparently a buffoon
Could Todd's head be further up his ass?
CT: pWNED! (sorry, a gaming reference, I couldn't resist.)
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 8:43 am PT...
I am glad you said "news catnip" not "catnip" as I grow pretty potent "catnip" right now. Small doses are stong enough to make kitty slice your hand up, and draw blood. o;)
I'd take a picture but the plants look horrible right now with the heat we just got in California.
I did a catnip harvest photo-session on The Randy Rhodes show once.
Oh well. NBC is crap journalism. Where Journalism = Crap.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 8:57 am PT...
I agree with Berman and especially "Big Dan" about the misinformation not being a "failure."
For what it's worth, almost no one I know thinks of the mainstream media as a source of information. That's changed in the past two years or so.
At this point, for my relatives that still watch cable, it is more like a self-imposed propaganda campaign, a la the loudspeakers blaring Party information on Chinese campuses a few decades ago.
The social fabric of the United States has already frayed well beyond what I would have guessed was the breaking point. Like the coyote in Road Runner cartoons, people's willingness to accept the US political system is now based primarily on 1) wishful thinking and 2) lag time in accepting new realities, buffered by 3) the ability to buy great new crap from China. We can't afford the great new crap any longer, so the collapse is upon us.
I'd thought Obama might be the change until he and Geithner sent the Treasury to our de facto owners. (Maybe we should stop sending taxes to the IRS, and just send them directly to Goldman Sachs.)
With the possibility that Obama would walk us back from the brink now gone, I fully expect some "unimaginable" change for the better or worse sometime in the next decade. Given my heritage and personality, my expectations lean towards the worse.
It's our fault.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:02 am PT...
hmmm, that should read, "...like the coyote in Road Runner cartoons, off the cliff but suspended in mid-air..."
Even then it probably doesn't work too well.
Oh well. It's hard to write when hyperventilating.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:10 am PT...
All you have to do, is look at the FACTS. It' actually more simple than you think.
Greenwald should go one step further, and say it's not a "failure". Nor "they aren't doing their job". And say: "it's propaganda on purpose", they ARE doing their job. And I'm talking about the "mainstream media", not even the rightwing media.
WHO is the "mainstream media" speaking on behalf of, or FOR, when they are pushing that Cheney is some kind of a victim? Cheney! It's simple! It's really not that complicated.
So, the "liberal media" (wink wink) is speaking FOR CHENEY! How can this be???
Everyone caught on to the "Cheney torture tour" on ABC/NBC/CBS/etc...right? The tour hasn't stopped, folks! It's just others doing it for him, because everyone caught on when it was actually him!
Who owns/runs the "corporate mainstream media", and bunch of "liberals"? Who are they then? That's simply not true. YET...we hear it all the time. Because it's part of "the plan". Get it?
Set up a bunch of people "rightwing media" always saying the "mainstream media" is "liberal".
WHO do YOU know, who actually thinks the mainstream media is liberal? Always ask yourself that. I don't know anybody who thinks that...YET, you hear it all the time! WHO is saying that??? Figure it out.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:12 am PT...
Then the "mainstream media" can falsely cry "We are under attack by the rightwing media"! Like the WWF. The "liberal media" is neither. It's on the internet, in books, etc...it's not in anything remotely connected to a corporation.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:15 am PT...
Keep yourself busy, watching the "mainstream media" fighting with the "rightwing media": Hulk Hogan vs. Jake the Snake. Pick one to root for. Both are deceiving everyone.
Out the "mainstream media" for really what they are, and stop rooting for them to "turn the corner", etc... It's a waste of time, because really, they are doing their job perfectly.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:26 am PT...
So, who are you for? Jake the Snake, or Hulk Hogan? Maybe, if you're smart, you didn't get a ticket for this show.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 9:46 am PT...
How can the corporate "liberal" media be endlessly defending someone from a past administration, Dick Cheney? What is going on?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 6:42 pm PT...
Chuck Todd should stick to managing the Concords.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 8:40 pm PT...
... the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
Australian social scientist, quoted by Noam Chomsky in World Orders Old and New
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 7/17/2009 @ 8:59 pm PT...
...and the growth of corporate propaganda is the NEWS: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN - the "liberal" (not) TV news. FOX is another story... There IS NO LIBERAL CORPORATE MAINSTREAM TV MEDIA!
Here's the liberal TV news: Democracy NOW! Do any of these resemble Democracy NOW!: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN??? Yes or No
They don't. If ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN were "liberal" like we're supposed to believe, wouldn't they look identicle to DN! ??? But they don't.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2009 @ 4:58 am PT...
To quote a now famous Bradblogger: "Chuck Todd is the ass of the year."
Great comments in this thread, especially poignant with today's passing of Uncle Walter, my True North, and the last of the Great, century-spanning, network anchor-steadies. History will bear out that Chuck Todd is the Micky Mouse Mouse apprentice to his Master Sorcerer. (Even now, Todd's splintered, angry broom bits are beginning to bouncy bouncy.) And right-o, Big Dan & Disillusioned --- with Todd it's intentional nefarious, echo-chamber of obfuscation and distraction. It's shell game chicanery.
He's been pissing (and pooping, too) all over the public's right to know stuff for years. In 2008, he derailed democracy completely when he took it upon himself to deny the "minor" presidential candidates any and all due participation in the televised debates --- barring them from our public air-waves, which is not only antithetical to the staples of good journalism...it's CENSORSHIP.
A bunch of us here at Bradblog popped a coupla head-vessels over it so we shot off some angry letters to NBC news - and were astonished when we received personal (?) responses back from him: "Suck it, I know what's best for the voters..." (Would you believe me if I told you that I'm BARELY paraphrasing?)
'But' we persisted, 'dear, poor, cuckolded and perhaps even slightly retarded Chuck --- your viewers ARE the voters! Knock knock, there, Ducky! It's me, the voter telling you to include my candidate in this free, open democratic debate, please.' He stuck to his guns, and the American people will never know how one sideways comment at that un-debate might have shaped our Nation differently.
I've hated that S.O.B ever since.
If he were my roommate I'd freeze his bra.
And just in case I'm right, and years from now the Daily Show Staff does a google search to find the best "anonymous" insults to counter some future Chuck Todd arrogant, snide, and utterly incorrect reporting --- "Chuck Todd is snicker-dick weasel with no moral center, no class, and ass poor taste in facial hair."
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2009 @ 9:57 am PT...
History will bear out that Chuck Todd is the Micky Mouse Mouse apprentice to his Master Sorcerer
You give CT far too much credit. I read that interview twice, I couldn't believe what an unintelligent snot he is. Greenwald handed his ass (Basil Fawlty: "Everything's bottoms with you Americans!") to him what...10...12 times in the span of a half hour. CT was punch drunk by the end. Fucker should be shining shoes for the sports guy at channel 2 in Des Moines, that's about how much connection he has with "news."
If there were any justice in this world, that would be a career-ending interview.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 7/18/2009 @ 4:31 pm PT...
Comment #26 Jeanie Dean
"Chuck Todd is snicker-dick weasel with no moral center, no class, and ass poor taste in facial hair."
That's some grade A primo smack