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View Diary: Bush's lies go mainstream (170 comments)

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  •  Let's not confuse our facts (3.90)
    When Watergate happened, the press got thier cajones back and dug in and within 6 months brought Nixon down past the point of no return.

    The Watergate break-in happened in June (or July?) 1972.  Nixon left office August 1974!  The WaPo guys worked on this early and there were some very uncomfortable facts out there before the election, but it wasn't big news.  The "drip drip drip" was not only about uncomfortable facts slowly coming to light but also about  institutions that were slowly forced into acting based on those facts.  In real time (as contrasted with our movie enhanced revision "All the President's Men), the media no more looked into all the Nixon garbage than they did Reagan's or Bush's.  They really prefer things like OJ, Scott, Michael, Martha and Monica.  

    (Although I would still like to believe that the profession of journalism back then was more honorable and they would not have ignored such an obvious lie as the WMD, but it is probably unlikely that they would have debunked the Saddam=OBL either.  Let's not forget that McNamara is now saying that they didn't know that Vietnam was a civil war and not the frontline in the fight against communism.  Nor did the US public "know" that based on what the press fed them.  However, the facts were no more hidden back then than are those on Iraq today.  The "Best and the Brightest" put on the same "blinders" then as the "neo-cons" have done today.  Both led us to war.  And the public is no better or worse informed.  About the only difference I could detect in the lead up to this "war" was a greater reluctance on the part of the public to jump on the war bandwagon immediately.  Why?  Don't know but for many it could have been about "smelling" a rat because even the language of the WH echoed that used for Vietnam or it could have been nothing more than a last gasp from the isolationist tradition in this country.)  

    •  Ya know... (none)
      ...I almost considered becoming a journalist based on the work done by Woodward, Bernstein, et al (never saw the movie, but read the book in high school in the '70s).

      Then I got to college and realized I'd rather make up stories than go out and look for them.

      I could've been a precursor to Jayson Blair and other prevaricators...there goes my one chance at fame... sigh

    •  Solid evaluation ... (4.00)

      About journalistic cojones:

      Until journalists in Vietnam started taking note of the fact that the military's often glowing reports didn't match what they were witnessing on the ground, the media pretty much was lockstep for the war. The turnaround was slow - started in the print media first - and took a long, long time to seep into the brains of mainstream America.

      I think we Vietnam protesters should get at least a teensy bit of credit for the early opposition against the Iraq Attack. That opposition helped catalyze the notion among a hefty proportion of Americans that the government isn't always right when it goes to war. Before 1967 or so, the close-to-unanimous view was that when America went to war it was always a justifiable fight.

      This time around, people were already primed to ask: wait a minute, is this bullshit we're being fed, or does Bush really have a case?

      •  Yes, and that's why (3.80)
        someone like Kerry of all people should have got this one right.  The fact that he didn't suggests to me that at a deep level, he didn't get Vietnam right either, and doesn't loathe people like McNamara and easily tolerates their current incarnations.
        •  YES! (none)
          Yes, Marie, that is EXACTLY what I want to know.

          Kerry came around, through personal experience,  to see that the Viet Nam war was wrong.  the Korean war was awful.   Shouldn't having lived through those mistakes, and the lies that went into exacerbating them, give him a window into the idea that maybe rushing into war isn't a good thing?

          what were any of them thinking?    Who, having protested Viet Nam, would rubberstamp Iraq?

          I just don't see a way to excuse him for this, although I don't believe in bashing any of the Dems, because we need them all so badly.  I would just like to see them stand up, admit that they made a terrible mistake, and explain to us the thinking behind it.  and then apologize to the American and especially to the Iraqi people.

          •  Agree - (none)
            I remained open to Kerry as Rep Waxman was admitting his error and asking for answers shortly after the invasion got to Baghdad.  The "Waxman Position" basically claimed that the POTUS is not expected to lie about matters in International Affairs, and must be given the benefit of the doubt in such circumstances.  Not a bad position if one overlooks the fact that GWB has been a lying weasel his whole life and it would not be a good bet.  However, even I was willing to remain open to someone who put "respect for the office of the Presidency" above doubts and concerns provided they voiced those doubts clearly and unambiguously at the time of the Iraq vote, reiterated them before the invasion and requesting the administration be very careful that their data was solid, and then at the first indication that the data was bogus, call the adminstration on this as Waxman did.  Hell, Kerry didn't need to do anything other than piggyback what Waxman called for.  Instead he remains proud of his vote and convinced that Saddam was a threat.  
      •  Re: Solid evaluation (none)
        Before 1967 or so, the close-to-unanimous view was that when America went to war it was always a justifiable fight.

        Several years ago, I had the opportunity to read many of the early-to-mid 1960's newspaper reports on microfilm for an u/g class on the 'Media and Foreign Policy.' So many young people today tend to believe that the national media (both television and newspapers) were always against the Vietnam War. Not true.

        This time around, people were already primed to ask: wait a minute, is this bullshit we're being fed, or does Bush really have a case?

        Great point.

        A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

        by JekyllnHyde on Mon Feb 09, 2004 at 05:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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