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View Diary: Michael Wolff on the Media and Rove (96 comments)

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  •  Treasongate (4.00)
    History will record that when the NYT found itself in a position to choose between serving their readers and serving Power, they chose to serve Power.

    This is not an isolated case. Treasongate is simply the sequal to Judygate. NYT and the rest of the Big Media colluded and conspired with the Bush regime to deceive the public and take the country to war. They are contiuing to collude and deceive by ignoring DSM and trying to sabotage the Treasongate investigation

    What we have here is reverse Watergate. The press is helping the president cover up corruption.

    •  I think we'll also take greater note (4.00)
      that the Times, the Journal and the Post -- three-fourths of our elite press if you count the LA Times -- published in and served hometowns that were attacked on 9/11.  Officers and editorial leaders of these papers knew victims personally, and their businesses were adversely affected.

      These papers, as they have since the advent of broadcast, set the agenda for other print and broadcast media.  But reporting on 9/11 and our immediate response, they had palpable conflicts of interest.

      You (obviously) can't expect newspapers to recuse themselves from reporting on how local tragedies affect their operations (though they often work hard to do so).  But these papers were directly victimized on 9/11, and their blind support of the Iraq invasion in the face of plenty of counterwisdom indicates to me they put their journalistic mission on hold to help our government avenge their losses.

      To the extent this is true and publicized, our elite press will suffer great damage, particularly with an internet available to catalogue and weigh its transgressions, and puncture its mythology.  At this moment, we don't know exactly how much and when the Times, Journal and Post knew our casus belli was bogus.  So, as we speak, the elite press has real reasons (especially in protecting shareholders) to minimize public awareness of their surrendered mission to report facts.

      For this reason, we are in the midst of two cover-ups, one governmental, one press.  They are intertwined, but distinct.  And we'll wish we'd all realized it sooner.

      •  Afghanistan may have been revenge for 9/11, (none)
        but how could they have thought Iraq was?
        •  I think they viewed Afghanistan (4.00)
          as kind of a no-brainer (as, reluctantly, did I).  AQ was there, and the Taliban was going Khmer Rouge.  But not many opportunities for shock and awe.

          Seems like the disconnect occurred around the outsourcing of Tora Bora and redeployment of troops and treasure to the Iraq build-up, still only months after 9/11.  One question I don't see much discussed is when the elite press was onto each of these stories, because there must have publishing/editorial folks who decided then to "look the other way."

      •  Look if anything ever sold papers, war did. (none)
        Plain n'simple.

        The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

        by peeder on Sat Aug 13, 2005 at 12:09:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It started even before that (4.00)
      If only they had scrutinized candidate Bush with the same lens they applied to candidate Gore.

      If only they went after W with half the zeal they spent going after Bill.

      The NY Times has been veering way off the tracks for almost a decade now.

      I am pissed at them more than any other media outlet--because I expected better from them.

      Now we find that not only have they been tainted with bias, but they're actually a player in this scandal.

      I think there's a real possibility that this scandal will explode in their faces and ruin the paper's reputation. And that's a shame, because they still have lots of honest reporters doing great work, and they will get tarred with the same brush as the Judy Millers.  

      Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

      by saucy monkey on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 05:47:53 PM PDT

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      •  You are so right (4.00)
        saucy monkey.  This was in full view during the Gore campaign.

        And this is one of the five reasons I am so disgusted with people like Maureen Dowd.  While often viewed as a darling of the left wing, if one goes back and looks at her columns during the Gore election, she misses everything.  She wallows in right wing spin and personal attacks on Gore (in the name of her cornball humor) with no sense of what was really at stake.  It is as if she could not understand how good we had it prior to the neocon takeover. Like she had nothing to write about.  Now, she makes money on her books from easy to write antiBush op-ed pieces.  Bush is something she can understand and make money off, Clinton and Gore, apparently not.  Who suffers?  We do.

        And then the NYT's tolerance of that anti-Dean fiend Jodi Wilgoren with tepid slaps on the back of the wrist (not even!) from Okrent -- JESUS!

        •  Absolutely (none)
          Not to mention Frank Bruni's fellating in 2000 and Elizabeth ("Is God on our side?") Bumiller's appalling sycophancy in 2004.

          On "On Point" when a caller confronted Dowd about her 2000 columns, she said, "you know, my friends said the same thing," but I told them they exaggerated the effect of a columnist."  Imagine -- downplaying her influence, when her whole persona is dedicated to cultivating it!

          Also on "On Point" a few months ago, Joe Lelyveld was plugging his memoirs -- where he recounts his father's legacy as a rabbi and leader in the Civil Rights movement.  I called and asked him about the Times Whitewater coverage -- why did it bury the Pillsbury report exonerating Clinton and continue it's relentless and phony reporting?  And could he admit that the Whitewater coverage under his aegis was an important cause for the election of an administration that's doing everything to wipe out his father's legacy?

          He admitted that the Times had gone too far in its coverage, but blamed Clinton for "not cooperating."  He didn't remember

          An archtypical spineless Kristof-style "liberal" enabler of theocratic near fascism.

      •  When "Le Temps" was disgraced (4.00)
        by collaboration with the German occupiers, it was replaced as the prestige paper in Paris, after the liberation of 1944, by "Le Monde," with much of the same staff.
    •  Miri, could not have said it any better... (4.00)
      .... the only thing I will add is, that the "leaders" of the Democratic Party, you know, Lieberman, Biden, Hillary and all the other weather-vane chickenhawks instead of standing up with courage like Cindy Sheehan and Paul Hackett allow the Culture of Corruption and Deception to continue.

      And at least half the American people walk around with blinders to the deceit and self dealing because they are emotionally tied to the propaganda of patriotism and family values.

      •  Those Dem Leaders Are Owned... (4.00)
        by the same people that own the media.  I like the idea of having senators named for their companies, like sports arenas...they should at least wear ads like bicyclists, etc.
        •  So True (none)
          Congratulations Mayan, that is the best shot I've ever read.  

          The fact is that The Republicans have gone so far because there is almost no Democrats in a position of power who is willing to call them on these acts.

          Every Democrat who holds a seat in Congress or the Senate has a website and not many of them look anything the post here at Daily Kos. Most of them look like there is a big love fest is going on in Washington D.C. If those websites looked anything like the postings of their informed constituents, then Republican popularity would be drastically reduced. If they were offering the reality of the situation to the less informed Democrats and the swing voters perhaps the Democrats would see sixty Senate seats in 2006 and an overwhelming majority in Congress.  

          Do we have any voice left with our elected officials or are the people who pay all of those lobbyists running around Washington D.C. the only citizens who ever get heard?

    •  Yes -- if this were '72-74 (none)
      they would all have been using Haldeman, Erhlichman and Mitchell as their sources.  But it's not quite the reverse of Watergate and is actually worse.  Woodward & Bernstein may have been mostly ignored early on, but at least there wasn't a giant rightwing media machine being fed by the WH taking up all the political oxygen.  

      How in god's name did these people get journalistic credentials?  Or did someone neglect to teach them at advertising, promotion and propaganda are not journalism?

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

      by Marie on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 08:05:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Gingrich Arm of the Revolution (none)
        as I understand it, was to push the owners and sponsors of the press to recognize that they were in the experience distribution business, not public service. Regardless of who led them, there's no doubt that the media did make the switch.

        Or did someone neglect to teach them at advertising, promotion and propaganda are not journalism?

        Someone failed to teach our thinkers and leaders over upwards of 100 years that society was rapidly outgrowing the premises of our system. One such premise was that the market would always operate a free press to serve the electorate. The Framers never conceived that their sort of press would become forbidden by economics. But they did recognize that the whole system depended on future generations keeping it updated.

        Our system as we have it today is operating naturally, as designed and built.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 09:17:16 PM PDT

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        •  Actually -- thinkers and leaders (none)
          figured this out decades ago, and it led to rules on media ownership and the "Fairness Doctrine."  Both worked well until the GOP and many Democrats thought that we had outgrown those.  

          What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

          by Marie on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 10:10:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You speak for me on this one (none)
            I think the return of the Fairness Doctrine should be at the top of the agenda, along with transparent and fair elections.

            the ratprick: the most envied sexual instrument in the animal kingdom

            by the ratprick on Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 10:52:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's a white-is-black world (none)
        In Watergate and Pentagon papers days, the reporters protecting sources were protecting whistleblowers who would face retribution for exposing wrong-doing by those in power.  Now the reporters are protecting the wrong-doers and not the whistleblowers.  How did everything get so upside-down?

        The media owes this country an apology.  They relentlessly cheered for war with Iraq, no doubt because it would sell papers.  They covered up wrongdoing by Bush's top aides, and are therefore complicit in getting Bush elected.

        Keep an open mind, but don't let your brains fall out.

        by Unstable Isotope on Sat Aug 13, 2005 at 05:37:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, "history" will NOT do that. (none)
      Why? because the same forces that write history write the news.

      I am sorry, but I am getting REALLY tired of progressives throwing up their hands in surprise when the media does exactly what it has done at least since the assassination of JFK. "The media" has been complicit (if only by its silence) in the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, Malcolm X, the Vietnam War, Iran Contra and the whole CIA/inner city drug scourge, Ronald Reagan's protracted senility while President, Desert Storm, the theft of the 2000 + 2004 elections, the painting of Howard Dean as a dangerous flake, the Iraq War and the literally hundreds of other criminal enterprises that exist under the rubric of "BushCo", and all the other the various farces and failures surrounding the administration of government on all levels of American life, from the Fed level right on down through the cities and into the county and local levels.

      Job One for the media? Preserve the status quo at all costs. Why? Short term, it's good for business, and the media IS business. Only when it gets BAD for business...Nixon, now BushCo...does it say or do ANYTHING. It is almost totally corrupt, just as the American system has become almost totally corrupt.

      What to do about this? Well, first...WAKE UP TO THIS FACT!!! If we do not know what is up with the media, if we continue to believe in the myth of the Fourth Estate, we are licked from the get-go. WE are the only Fourth Estate presently in existence. (The Four Estates originally being conceived of as the clergy, the aristocracy, the middle class and the press.) The press...,the media...has taken the place of the second part of that equation, the clergy, insofar as the media now distribute the mythic ideas...the propaganda that enforces whatever morality controls the actions of the majority of the people... that were the function of the clergy at the time.

      (See Thomas Carlyle for more on this. "... does not... the parliamentary debate go on... in a far more comprehensive way, out of Parliament altogether? Edmund Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important than they all.")

      Other than that, and doing what we are doing as an independent media (God help us to remain so as we get larger. The first signs of corruption are appearing on the larger blogs as we speak...infiltration, special interests posing as "concerned citizens", big business advertising becoming important revenue streams, etc.), there is not much that we CAN do except wait and see how this whole thing plays out. If the corruption succeeds in staying in power, we are sunk. ALL corruption ends in death on every level if not stopped. (Including, by the way, corruption on this web-based level. A word to the wise... resist the special interests every time they raise their ugly, covert heads. How to recognize them? They're the ones that try to stop freedom of thought in the name of power. The ones pushing for orthodoxy instead of heterodoxy. A word to the wise...)

      We can either succeed in pushing the media to realize that indeed the current situation IS bad for business or we can wait for the collapse of the system as it now stands and hope that the form taken by that collapse it is not too violent.

      When you get right down to it, we the people...those of us who are pushing for reform through the use of the web, the last independent  "we the people" left in America...are the only hope for the survival of this country, for the survival of the perfectly valid (if never yet fully achieved) American Dream.

      Fight on.

      This IS the American Revolution.

      Pt. II

      If it is not fought and won here, it is going to be fought on the streets eventually. Probably sooner rather than later.

      Baghdad on the Hudson.

      LaLa Land as Falalalujah.

      Believe it.

      Fight on.

      It would be better this way.


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