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View Diary: NY Times Explains Propaganda in Its Guantanamo Stories (128 comments)

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  •  Great diary and thanks for the (12+ / 0-)

    heads up on the piece.

    Reading the mea culpa, I several things that make no sense, and which make me think that Clark Hoyt is (cough cough) brushing past at least as much incompetence and/or systemic abuse by people at the Times as he is admitting to.

    For example:

    Douglas Jehl, who directs national security coverage and edited the story, said he became aware that there was a distinction between suspected cases and confirmed cases only after the article was published. "Had I known, I would have treated the story differently," he said.

    Meaning, I suppose, at the least, that the distinction was not in the published version nor in any draft of the published article.  Which is very hard to believe is just a woops.  Further, it must also be the case that this same person, "Douglas Jehl, who directs national security coverage and edited the story," did not know the obvious problem with saying that all the people suspected of engaging in new criminal acts were thereby "returning" to them.  As Hoyt says, that very distinction was printed in the Times, previously.  So, again, I don't buy the idea that Jehl is that incompetent.  

    Elisabeth Bumiller, the reporter, said she was just trying to convey what the study said, not swallowing a Pentagon line, and that she had plenty of problems with the study that she tried to make clear to readers. Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, said Bumiller questioned whether the study was newsworthy, but he overrode her doubts.

    Mutual ass covering.  Whatever.  Is the idea that there is no one person to blame for this, so there is no point in blaming anyone in particular?  Is that how it works?

    Oddly, I suspect that is exactly how it works.  Everyone knows and everyone knows that everyone knows that a certain pro-militarism line is pushed in the trad med.  It just is.  So when that little quirk of the trad med leads to flagrant as opposed to hidden fuck-ups, everyone covers everyone's ass.  It wasn't Bumiller's idea to run the story, and it wasn't Baquet who "pestered the Pentagon" for a story.  What are you going to do, apologize for the whole tradmed?

    By the way, Bumiller "Pestered the Pentagon for weeks?"  Weeks, people!

    Hey, Clark, does that strategy generally work?  Can you generally pester the Pentagon for "weeks" and get anything you want from them, no matter how little good it does them to give it to you?  If not, then doesn't it seem to you that this is a case of getting spun by the Pentagon?

    Bumiller, expressing frustration that people think the report was just handed to her by someone with political motives, said she worked for weeks to obtain a copy. She said she found an official who believed the report should be released, and "I pestered this official for it for a long time." The official finally agreed to let her make notes from a copy but would not give it to her.

    Those are just a couple of examples.  The piece by Clark is riddled with little ass-coverings and non-explanations like that.  Seems to me.

    Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you. -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 05:00:50 PM PDT

    •  It's all smoke and mirrors (0+ / 0-)

      There's an assumption that we're living in a normal world. That the fix for this is just for the reporters to engage in investigative journalism and everything would be just fine.

      Nope.

      We are the victims of one of the biggest conspiracies in history. A conspiracy to gut the Constitution, loot the country and turn the press into a trained propaganda organ.  Hillary was absolutely correct when she cited the "Great right wing conspiracy."

      And it's over. They did it. Look at all the pieces we need to pick up.

      Except...

      It's not really over. Actually, the fight is just beginning. And the first thing that needs to be done is to unshackle the media.  But how?

      Unfortunately, that has to come from the top. Obama has to put heat on the FCC and Congress to change the media ownership rules. Until this happens, every battle we fight to regain our country will be fought steeply uphill. In pea-soup fog. Against enemy fire.

      This is a new corporate-controlled world. And there are so many things that need to be done to unleash ourselves from out feudal owners, where do we start?

      First things first. I think we need to secure the ballot boxes, because that's the only reason we're not discussing President McCain.  The only reason Bush won was because he manufactured a razor-thin close election that he could then steal by disenfranchising voters and by exercising control over the voting machines through his political cronies (who just happened to be manufacturing the machines - now ain't that an odd coincidence?)

      I agree that health care reform is important, I agree that media reform is important, I believe that there are many issues worthy of our attention, but the one area that will give us the greatest yield is to get a national standard for Federal Elections. No machines. Paper ballots with ink marking and optical scan counting with built-in hand audits. If there's a discrepancy, it triggers a larger audit.

      Not much we can do about the media right now - and I don't see that it's even on Obama's radar - but we can put some real effort into ensuring the success of the last election is repeated again. And that we elect people who will listen to us, not the corporations.

      Sorry to go a little off-topic, but the corruption of our country is so wide-reaching that all these topics are tightly woven together. And if we can elect the right people and pass the right legislation, we can restore our country. And that starts with wielding our real power - the ballot. So, I think our first priority is to clean up the electoral system. Because you can be assured, the shrinking conservative base is eying it like the Hope diamond.

      Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

      by moosely2006 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:52:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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