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Bill Moyers' PBS special last night on the media's complicity in pushing America to war was so powerfully upsetting that I am forced to resort to using mid-1990s NBA metaphors to describe it, if only because describing it without a metaphoric buffer is just too depressing. This production was the documentary equivalent of Tom Chambers famously jumping over a screaming Mark Jackson and hammering down one of the greatest, most in-your-face slam dunks in history.

To call the media's complicity in the Iraq War a conspiracy is an insult to conspiracies, because it wasn't hidden - as Moyers shows, it was all out there for everyone to see. The problem was, Beltway reporters didn't want to see it.

As New York Times White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller admitted, in the lead up to war most self-respecting Washington journalists who wanted to stay on the White House Christmas card list refused to ask tough questions because "no one wanted to get into an argument with the president."

What's really disturbing, however, is not even what this documentary says about the past - but what it says about the state of journalism today. In interview after interview after interview, we hear top journalists and opinionmakers declare that they believe journalism is no longer about basic, hard-scrabble reporting or getting scoops. As the Washington Post's Walter Pincus says, most reporters today actually try to avoid getting scoops because they "worry about sort of getting out ahead of something" and - gasp! - making their friends inside Official Washington mad at them. So rather than, say, do the real work of reporting news, journalism has become a profession that is almost entirely about PR, transcription and packaging Establishment spin for news copy. This is why, for example, many of the highest-profile political "journalists" like Joe Klein and David Broder never bother to actually report anything anymore - but instead spend most of their time pontificating on horse race polls and campaign gossip, expecting us to believe that's real "news."

This kind of attitude, as Moyers shows, goes straight to the top. Take, for instance, NBC's Tim Russert - the Washington Bureau Chief of NBC NEWS. I stress the word "news" because, remember, "news" is supposed to be reported in the trenches, not transcribed in a television studio. Russert loves to brag about coming from Buffalo (often ending his shows with some irritating quip about the Buffalo Bills) because he believes it gives him some sort of working-class cred and more importantly distracts viewer attention from the fact that he is a longtime Washington insider and multi-million-dollar journalist. And at one point, he brags to Moyers that "I'm a blue-collar guy from Buffalo - I know who my sources are [and] I work 'em very hard." But then when Moyers asks him why he gave Vice President Cheney such a free pass to come on Meet the Press and spew blatant lies about Iraq's WMD - lies that news organizations like Knight Ridder were exposing but people like Russert were ignoring - we get this gem from Russert:

"There were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them."

Moyers quickly noted that at least some reporters "didn't wait for the phone to ring," and that CBS's Bob Simon said that sources debunking the WMD case "would have been available to any reporter who called." And that makes Russert's entire sob story fall apart like a house of cards. Russert wants us to believe that he's just "a blue-collar guy from Buffalo" who works sources very hard. Yet, apparently, "working sources very hard" means not even picking up the phone to make a call, but instead sitting in a comfortable Washington office waiting for people to call him, and in the meantime giving Cheney as much airtime as he wanted to spew lies.

Then there is the interchange with The New Republic's Peter Beinart, who since cheerleading for the war and berating war critics, has been rewarded with a Time Magazine column and a post as a foreign policy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. Moyers asks Beinart "what made you present yourself as a Middle East expert" in the lead up to war? Beinart admits that despite his preening around as an expert, he'd never actually been to Iraq, but nonetheless insists that he is "a political journalist." So Moyers naturally asks that as a "political journalist" what kind of reporting did he do to make sure his prewar cheerleading was substantively sound. Here's Beinart's answer:

"Well, I was doing mostly, for a large part it was reading, reading the statements and the things that people said. I was not a beat reporter. I was editing a magazine and writing a column. So I was not doing a lot of primary reporting. But what I was doing was a lot of reading of other people's reporting and reading of what officials were saying."

So here we have one of the Iraq War's leading cheerleaders actually telling us that his entire method of backing up his case was all about amplifying official Washington through brazen transcription. He actually sits there and tells Moyers that as a self-described "political journalist" his primary method of reporting  on the issues he presented himself as an expert on was by not reporting at all.

This is what journalism has become today - and the worst part of it is that people who follow this Russert-Beinart method of sitting in comfortable Washington offices not picking up the phone or doing primary research is actually being rewarded as we speak. Moyers, channeling a fantastic piece by Jebediah Reed in Radar Magazine, notes that most of the people who regurgitated the Washington Establishment's debunked case for war have actually been rewarded with even more prominent positions in the media. And while these desperate-for-attention media icons like Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman are happy to throw themselves in front of cameras for almost any opportunity to promote themselves, they categorically refused to talk to Moyers for his PBS special.

I went to journalism school because I thought journalism was about sifting through the B.S. in order to challenge power and hold the Establishment accountable. Bill Moyers and the folks I've gotten to know at McClatchy Newspapers who Moyers highlights show that that long tradition still exists. But the fact that they are such rare exceptions to the rule also show that the incentive system in journalism today is to reward not the people who challenge power, but the people who worship it. And though Tim Russert and Peter Beinart and Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman can kick back in Washington with their six figure salaries and tell themselves that they are really Important People, what we have seen is that they are part of a new journalistic culture that is threatening to destroy what once was a truly noble profession and undermine our democracy.

UPDATE: Check out how the Washington media is freaking out in utter damage control/meltdown mode.

Originally posted to davidsirota on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:04 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (305+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, Rebecca, racerx, wozzle, RichM, selise, Kestrel, Alumbrados, sj, Joe Bob, aisling, SteveLCo, northsylvania, pb, miriam, Inky, April Follies, eugene, matt n nyc, Rayne, SarahLee, alyosha, bluecayuga, roonie, glitterscale, Don Quixote, gaspare, TrueBlueMajority, MontanaMaven, kathyp, Emerson, karlpk, johnny71, littlesky, rincewind, Shockwave, Dave B, Sherri in TX, joby, cotterperson, shayera, OLinda, rhubarb, cookiesandmilk, GayHillbilly, John Campanelli, ThirstyGator, RickD, StevenJoseph, lzachary, the OTHER rasmussen, bumblebums, Caneel, HighSticking, madhaus, RubDMC, opinionated, monkeybiz, concernedamerican, Boston Boomer, bronte17, howd, Silverleaf, megs, kriser, OCD, srkp23, biscobosco, highacidity, SCFrog, Village expects idiot home soon, Geonomist, KJS, pattisigh, roses, LeftofArizona, marylrgn, itsmitch, sjb8888, drdave, jjhalpin, Thaxter, matt2525, rioduran, diana04, dmsilev, high uintas, rocketito, litigatormom, jackmac, kharma, BurnetO, oldjohnbrown, mrkvica, sympa, Sycamore, cityofgates, commonscribe, cometman, delphine, Mad Dog Rackham, Andrea inOregon, Munibond, Ready2fight, grayslady, churchylafemme, 2liberal, niteskolar, mcfly, drangel, onemadson, sommervr, lcrp, Pohjola, fritzrth, BWasikIUgrad, bwintx, exlrrp, jesses, WV Democrat, shadowplayer, WisVoter, Man Eegee, schuylkill, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, SanDiegoDem, Black Max, kd texan, vacantlook, eve, adigal, solesse413, vivadissent, bibble, Timroff, TekBoss, colinm, wolverinethad, mdgluon, rapala, angrybird, Fabian, lavaughn, historys mysteries, Bluesee, saodl, ZZZzzz, Treg, Owl of Minerva, Alexander G Rubio, LarisaW, unclejohn, SherwoodB, zaraspooksthra, mjd in florida, Halcyon, primrose, PBen, Jersey Girl, Melody Townsel, Hotspur18, clammyc, truong son traveler, nytcek, MT Spaces, Brooke In Seattle, Lepanto, Dem In VA, ratzo, eru, LizOnlineInGa, WinSmith, Bill White, buckeyedem08, Morrigan, Frank Palmer, EvilPaula, dunderhead, lotlizard, nwsound, BobOak, SheriffBart, illyia, babatunde, ord avg guy, Warren Terrer, deep, Spunkmeyer, Betsy McCall, wiscmass, serrano, Floja Roja, sodalis, sbdenmon, Dunvegan, agent double o soul, Dania Audax, darrelherbert, itsadryheat, Coherent Viewpoint, kovie, poco, esquimaux, suz in seattle, BalanceSeeker, hermitcrab, Rasputin, BlueInARedState, leo joad, dopper0189, VolvoDrivingLiberal, hamiltonk, Yellow Canary, Hear Our Voices, Naniboujou, kck, Sassy725, blueoasis, KozmoD, goodasgold, sullynyc, Irishkorean, vome minnesota, StrayCat, zorba, Lashe, UEtech, Bush Bites, LMK, Dauphin, BalkanID, MO Blue, bleeding heart, ER Doc, Dyana, fatbob, rage, zhimbo, frankzappatista, horatius, PhilW, Bernie68, chesapeake, coolsub, slksfca, AllanTBG, mapman, BlueTide, lams712, we are 138, bigchin, Rusty8N, One Pissed Off Liberal, FoundingFatherDAR, KatHart, Cronesense, JFinNe, Russ Jarmusch, drmah, Bob Guyer, Opinionated Ed, ksp, moodyinsavannah, uniongal, FishOutofWater, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, operculum, terabytes, DWG, drchelo, Sean in Motion, Uwaine, todd in salt lake, jayden, mudslide, blueseas, pioneer111, madgranny, electric meatball, Captain Nimrod, keikekaze, willb48, jniola, aebudde, Rob Cole, MKinTN, nom de paix, skymutt, Spoonfulofsugar, RickMassimo, Shahryar, dotster, dragoneyes, middle child, califdem, Mannabass, whirled peas, fancy chicken, okamichan13, apark559, inHI, Happy Days, Mardish, Lujane, MsWings
  •  Beinart did not come across well. (69+ / 0-)

    Or I should say, he came across pretty typically as a war cheerleader who gets called on the carpet and flounders trying to find something solid to cling to.

    Milli Vanilli - the lot of them!  Just lipsynchers chanting along with the spoonfed talking points.

    We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

    by Fabian on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:03:11 AM PDT

  •  But wait -- there's more! (27+ / 0-)

    Good work as always, David. But people should not assume that this mindset exists only in Washington DC.

    In every state, in every city, newspapers and TV stations all have their local "pundits."  The rot that  David describes in DC has pervaded my (thankfully) former craft almost everywhere you look.

    We have the tools to deal with our own local Russerts and Beinarts and Broders. Let's use them, or, better yet, do our own reporting.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:07:08 AM PDT

  •  Colbert nailed this last year (84+ / 0-)

    But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The President makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!

    How much clearer can it be?

  •  "No one wanted to get into an argument (29+ / 0-)

    with the president." You have got to be fucking kidding me. It's their damn job to call him on his bullshit, or at least it's supposed to be.

    Yes, that sequence of words I just said made perfect sense.

    by sbdenmon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:08:12 AM PDT

    •  Why oh why (24+ / 0-)

      would anyone feel intimidated by a lying half-wit and be afraid to ask some hard questions? Bush said it himself - "scripted". A dog and pony show featuring Bozo the Clown. Thanks American MSM. Take a look at Iraq today and consider what you have helped to accomplish. Take a look at America today and see what you have done.

      •  Because everybody's afraid (11+ / 0-)

        they'll get fired and won't be able to put "food on their family."
        Everybody laughed when he said that, but all of the media coverage of the unemployement numbers (notice how that story has disappeared?) was designed for one thing and one thing only--to make those who still had a job concerned about losing theirs.
        It's a well-worn strategy.  As long as we had legal slave labor, immigrant workers were told they should consider themselves lucky because they could be so much worse off.  Then, when slavery was outlawed, it was the share-croppers who were kept at the bottom of the totem pole to convince white farmers that they'd better behave or their fate would be worse.
        At present it's the migrant labor being imported from Central America that's supposed to make the rest of us feel glad we're citizens working for a guaranteed minimum wage.
        Why are the unions upset?  Because it's an old story?  The current itteration began with Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers.  What a wonderful target--a category of worker whose fate nobody would miss and whose absence from the towers would strike fear into everybody who flew in a plane, as well as the people who just watch planes from the ground.  (As one of the latter, I can tell you I was impressed by the controllers being fired).

        There is nothing that's more certain to inspire fear than the sight of a plane up in the air not behaving as it ought.

        •  However, slowly, surely such a strategy (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          roses, WV Democrat, BalkanID, Mesquite

          comes back to haunt you; no-one stays in power forever. If someone beats you in elections, they are sure to use your whip to strike at you.

          It should also be noted that ms. Joplin was right: ''Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.'' When the people have nothing left to lose you can be sure that general strikes are the least of your problems. Think riots, violence, and the Red Army.

          Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

          by Dauphin on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:05:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Freedom (0+ / 0-)

            If you fear losing what you have too much, then you have lost your freedom. You can have a lot of stuff, some great stuff, or whatever- but too much fear will take it all away. The freedom to have integrity requires either bravery, or at least a willingness to sacrifice.

      •  Why? (17+ / 0-)

        Disclaimer, I TIVO'd the show, I wanted to watch it undisturbed and my evenings are not mellow.

        Last night my dh and I lay awake talking about the issue and those who were to blame. I've been yelling at the TV for a long time, and my local newspaper is useless. I cancelled my subscription to Time and have been using the tubes for my news.

        But, let's go back on the way back machine to early 2001. The media was leery of Bush, making fun of him was not a big deal, and the people were beginning to feel as if they had just awoke with a bad hangover. Then 9/11.

        Bill Mayer was fired for a comment about bravery. Congress was unified, the idea that we were in trouble and we had to rally behind Bush was over-powering. I was all behind Afghanistan, we were going to war.

        Then came Iraq. The lies and spin was spewing from the White House as fast as they could turn it out. I don't know how individual reporters really felt as they reported the canned news they were being fed, but I do know how the American people felt. They didn't want the truth. Except for a few of us, they were openly hostile to it. Dissenting voices were "morans".

        We, the collective we, were the enablers. We made Fox the biggest cable news channel, we gave Billo and Rush and Hannity, ect a forum because we tuned in. Advertisers went where the money was, and we spent the money.

        Journalists who didn't tow the line were cut out of all info. Helen Thomas was sent to the back of the bus. If you wanted to report the war you were enbedded, where you developed a personal relationship with the soldiers who kept you alive.

        Those of us who were against the war were like Markos, yelling into the darkness until we drove those around us crazy. Because misery likes company we gravitated towards each other and became the alternative news that we craved.

        I came to the conclusion that if you did a pie chart of who was at fault, after you carve out the largest chunk for the administration you have to divide the rest of the blame between those journalists who only transcribed what was spoon fed them, and the people of the United States who wanted it that way.

        Shut it down is so yesterday. Now it's time to FIRE IT UP!

        by high uintas on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:18:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just because people wanted to believe lies (3+ / 0-)

          is no excuse for repeating them uncritically.  Some of us were able to figure out that bush et al were lying about everything regarding Iraq without access to any secret information.  The truth was out there, and it is the job of a free press to seek it.

          is it time to be an android, not a man?

          by we are 138 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:07:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No excuse, mere explaination. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            From the first there were journalists out there who were digging for the truth, Hersh comes to mind, but the Murican people were all to eager to hear bullshit and ignore facts.

            We wanted to believe, cheering on the toppling of Sadaam's statue and so what if the museums are being looted. More importantly, why are they being looted, who disbanded the police and the army? Fuck that, defeatocrat, let's talk about spider holes and look at the bodies of his sons.

            The Kossacks were here, digging away and most of the country were ignoring what was coming through. Now, people are screaming "Liars, why didn't you tell me?" Because, like all good enablers, they didn't want to know.

            Shut it down is so yesterday. Now it's time to FIRE IT UP!

            by high uintas on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:47:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The truth was out there (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas

            People who were in positions to really know like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter were ignored or ridiculed by the Bushco and the lawmakers. To anyone paying attention that alone would have made me suspicious. The fact that the neo-cons had had desires to take Iraq for years was no secret.

            A couple of things which really scared me the most were, and still are, perhaps to a lesser degree now - though I still see it with regard to Iran, were how easily the people were misled by the lies and secondly I still do no believe our elected lawmakers were not aware of this huge propaganda coup as it was taking place.

            The rest of the world, and I'm speaking of people, not necessarily the leaders, did not fall for the propaganda.

            I recall Senator Byrd verbally reprimanded his fellow lawmakers about how the war bill was passed with very little or no debate or discussion whatsoever.

            Not once during the lead up to the invasion did I ever hear that three-letter world "oil" mentioned. Not by the media and certainly not by any politician. Even if it were not the real reason for the invasion chances are it would have come up from time to time. To me that was extremely suspicious.

            Without doubt Bush and the neo-cons have blood on their hands for their illegal and immoral pre-emtive war. They are war criminals and I'd argue that many people in the media and in our own congress were, and some still are, enablers.

    •  Fact Checking (0+ / 0-)

      I thought one telling point (of many) was the Washington Post guy (ceo?) who noted that when Reagan took office, the Post had a fact checking group.

      They reported so many mistaken "facts" by Reagan that they were bombarded with "leave the poor guy alone, he's just trying to do a good job".

      The fact checking lasted less than six months.  Since then, they moved over to the "he said, she said" format, and have ignored the facts ever since.

    •  Funny, the MSM had no problem (0+ / 0-)

      picking fights with the Clinton Administration. They didn't mind cheesing off the Big Cheese with countless daily stories on Monica and her semen stained blue dress.

      I wonder why it was so different with No. 43 (snark)?

  •  It applies to politicians too: (17+ / 0-)

    most of the people who regurgitated the Washington Establishment's debunked case for war have actually been rewarded with even more prominent positions

    Indeed, two of the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination fall into the same category as Beinart et al.  

    •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

      Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were Senators at the time of the vote.  Hillary Clinton is still a Senator and so hasn't

      been rewarded with even more prominent positions

      John Edwards is no longer a Senator and has been devoting himself to running for the presidency since he left office.  He therefore has volantarily reduced his position in the hopes of gaining a higher one.  

      Both of them are running for a more prominent position but that is not the same as having or being rewarded with a higher position.

      I know you are one of the more uhh assertive supporters of Barack Obama but in your enthusiasm to point out that he didn't vote for the war you have ignored that the quote just doesn't fit at all.  None of our candidates were rewarded with more prominent positions because of their vote.  In fact, Hillary Clinton is finding her vote a problem as has been discussed here before.  John Edwards has done what is rarely seen and apologised for his vote and said outright that he was wrong.  Barack Obama did indeed speak out against the war at the time.  I havn't seen him while a Senator take any bold action the equivalent of that vote.  So while I think his speaking out was valuable I'm not sure what he would have done if he were in office at the time with the tremendous political pressure that was put on our senators.  It's relatively easy to speak out from the outside.  It's not so easy to do the same within.  Seeing as how he tends to go along to get along I have to wonder just what his position would have been had he actually been a senator at the time.  

      ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

      by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:46:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They both are benefiting from that bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        meme that as long as you vote for death and violence, you are 'serious' and 'credible' on the issue of national security and war issues.

        In 2004, there was only one viable candidate out of the entire field who was right about Iraq.  This time, again there is only one candidate who didn't get it wrong from the get-go.

        The lesson is that the vast majority of Democratic voters won't hold a vote for death and destruction and disaster against a candidate.

        The lesson is that it's still smart politically to vote for war and then change your mind if things go differently.  

        Look at what Clinton is STILL doing--playing up her "national security" credentials.  

        •  They were not rewarded with (0+ / 0-)

          a more prominent position.  Isn't that the point of your quote?  

          The lesson is that the vast majority of Democratic voters won't hold a vote for death and destruction and disaster against a candidate.

          Indeed Hillary Clinton is still trying to present herself as the "serious" candidate on this issue.  It's a hard position for her to push since a vocal part of the Democratic base isn't buying it.  We'll have to see how it sells in the future.  Right now she's in Joe Liebermans position.  She's got alot of name recognition which gives her high numbers.  Will it hold out?  we'll see.

          John Edwards did vote for the war.  He also came out and apologised for it and stated outright he was wrong.  He has also changed his positions as Al Gore has.  Maybe, just maybe, people can also be impressed with genuine remorse and his ability to change when he discovers he is wrong.  People can and do change and improve sometimes.  To just automatically dismiss these people is to make sure we get more of Hillary Clinton type refusal to admit she's wrong.  Where's the benefit to them for admitting a mistake, especially a serious one, if it means the end of any political career advancement.

          Your candidate has the same voting record as Hillary Clinton for the most part.  I haven't been impressed with him.  So because he spoke out as many outside of political Washington did, he automatically gets the job?  No such luck for your candidate.  He'll have to win the nomination just like any other candidate.

          ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

          by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:20:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I said, the lesson is that as long as you say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NeuvoLiberal

            "oops, my bad" or "what matters is what we do now" the great majority of Democrats won't hold anything against you.

            And people wonder why Democrats cave on issues like this every time--because it's politically safe.  No downside to voting for imperialism.

            To be honest, I wish there were more candidates with credibility on Iraq running besides Obama.  I wish that Gore and Clark were in the race.  Instead, his main competition is Edwards Version 3.0 (optional software patch to be installed post-primary) and the Iron Lady II.

            •  Edwards Ver. 3.0 w/ post-primary software patch! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geekesque

              LOL and hard :)

              Great one, Geek! Describes our pal Edwards to the tee.

              Gore/Obama'08: pave the future from the present.
              Next preferred ticket: Obama/Richardson.

              by NeuvoLiberal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:41:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                Gee he actually looked at his principles and his positions and changed them to a more ethical stance.  Wow, LOL what a silly thing to do.  Let's tag him with funny names like

                Edwards Version 3.0 (optional software patch to be installed post-primary)

                If anyone had done this to your and Geekesque's candidate you would have gone into full-bore assault about Obama haters and how they all they can do is criticise our candidates and STOP IT NOW.

                I guess it's easy to do the same to a candidate not your own.

                You are indulging in the candidate bashing you accuse others of doing.  Valid criticism is one thing.  Speaking of John Edwards changing his mind can be done without using terms that sound amazingly like the Breckgirl name.

                ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 12:07:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  'Edwards can talk an owl out of a tree' said (0+ / 0-)

                  Bill Clinton. Edwards is the most masterful and almost magical political performer that I have seen in quite a long period that I have observed politics over.

                  Gore/Obama'08: pave the future from the present.
                  Next preferred ticket: Obama/Richardson.

                  by NeuvoLiberal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:35:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And that has to do with what? (0+ / 0-)

                    Barack Obama appears to be a gifted political performer himself.  The fact doesn't seem to have turned you off of him.  In fact,  alot of people seem to see that as a major reason to nominate him.  You from your sig line want him to be VP to Gore or President to a VP Richardson.  Being gifted isn't a bad thing.

                    ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                    by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:42:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obama has shown strong sense of principles, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      hermitcrab

                      thoughfulness and consistent progressiveness through out his public and political career, in addition to being good in dealing with people and getting them to like him.

                      Gore/Obama'08: pave the future from the present.
                      Next preferred ticket: Obama/Richardson.

                      by NeuvoLiberal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:52:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So? (0+ / 0-)

                        That differentiates him from our other Democratic candidates how?  Those are basic, elementary political characteristics.  Any of our presidential candidates could have the same said about them.  

                        We are fortunate to have such a distinguished and excellent group running for the Presidency.  We can certainly critique any and all of our candidates without the needless namecalling.  

                        Face it you thought it was funny to call one of our candidates a name.  Something you would have condemned  anyone doing to Barack Obama.  Why don't you just come out and say what you think rather than this game you're playing.

                        ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                        by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:20:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  there is no game (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          hermitcrab

                          Between the two, Obama and Edwards, I think that one of them lets his principles channel his ambition, and the other lets his ambition guide his path.

                          Gore/Obama'08: pave the future from the present.
                          Next preferred ticket: Obama/Richardson.

                          by NeuvoLiberal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:36:38 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I see (0+ / 0-)

                            Then why didn't you just say so?  

                            Whatever your beliefs about Barack Obama and John Edwards they have nothing to do with the name-calling you and Geekesque indulged in.  It was completely inappropriate to make up names like that about any of our candidates.

                            Our future nominee may be John Edwards.  There is no reason for us to make it easier for the right-wing spin machine to attack them.  It is always appropriate to criticise our candidates to make them better candidates.  Name-calling does nothing positive for our candidates and much negative.  I see you choose to not address this issue.  I hope that you and Geekesque will not continue using this truly insulting attribution to one of our candidates.  

                            The criticisms on this blog are often harsh and heated.  One big difference between even unjustified criticism and this name calling is how easy it is to pick up cute little attributions like the one above.  It's much harder to take arguments and transfer them.  Most of our arguments are from the left side of the spectrum and so less likely to be picked up and used against our candidates.  This is just the very type of name that will get moved from here to the wider world.

                            I am a strong supporter of people being able to voice their criticisms, concerns, and beliefs about any candidate no matter how harsh.  This is not criticism though.  It is what some of the supporters of Obama, Geekesque in particular, have complained of in the least of criticism.  Candidate bashing in the cloak of humor.

                            ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                            by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Please. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miriam

              To be honest, I wish there were more candidates with credibility on Iraq running besides Obama.  I wish that Gore and Clark were in the race.  Instead, his main competition is Edwards Version 3.0 (optional software patch to be installed post-primary) and the Iron Lady II.

              Your point was that the Democratic party voters, those of us who don't have your elevated ethical concerns I guess, will

              As I said, the lesson is that as long as you say

              "oops, my bad" or "what matters is what we do now" the great majority of Democrats won't hold anything against you.  

              Any Democratic candidate who voted for the war will be nominated in spite of their vote.  Hillary Clinton is taking strong criticism for her stance on the war.  She is not just sailing into the nomination.  If she gets the nomination it won't be because

              vast majority of Democratic voters won't hold a vote for death and destruction and disaster against a candidate.

              it will be because she convinced them that she can be the best nominee.

              And people wonder why Democrats cave on issues like this every time--because it's politically safe.

               They cave because they are afraid of exactly what you are doing.  You are making it political suicide for any politician to change his mind, to fix an error no matter how important.

              Edwards Version 3.0 (optional software patch to be installed post-primary)

              Really?  I rather thought this was the problem with George Bush.  That he doesn't come with new versions.  Just the same thing over and over and over.  It's also the problem with Hillary Clinton's position.  She won't admit she's wrong.  

              We want politicians that can admit mistakes, even horrible ones like the vote for war.  

              The real point is that your quote was an ill chosen vehicle to push the point that your candidate spoke out against the war while not in a position to have to vote.  

              He was never in the position Hillary Clinton or John Edwards was in.  He was not subject to the pressures they were put  too.  What he would have voted we can never know.  

              So the fact that he spoke out as many did is laudable but doesn't tell us what he would have done in their position.  Too many of our Democratic politicians voted the wrong way due to bad judgement, bad advice, and immense political pressure.  To say that Barack Obama would have stood up to that is just wishful thinking.  Maybe he would have voted the way he spoke out as some of our elected officials did.  We'll never know.  

              ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

              by Rebecca on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:58:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  All is not lost. While so many traditional... (20+ / 0-)

    journalists have indeed abandoned their fiduciary responsibilty to report the truth, the new media (i.e well-funded and research/investigative focused blogs) is rapidly beginning to fill the void left by the MSM, and will, IMHO, eventually evolve into a primary news source for the public. A classic case in point is Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo and TPM Cafe, where solid investigative journalism has generated outstanding results on social security, Republican corruption, etc.

    Live in the Atlanta area?: Join the Atlanta Kos meetup group now forming by clicking on the homepage link in my profile.

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:08:58 AM PDT

  •  You've chosen the (13+ / 0-)

    two interviews that stood out to me the most, too and I commented on them yesterday.  I heard what you did.  I hope people listen critically and objectively to these hacks pitiful excuses.

    CNN's Prez(? - forgot name) says it's cheaper to hire pundits and hacks.  How cheap would it be if everyone stopped listening.  We're getting there, little by little.

    Last point, where has individual intergrity gone.  I don't think Knight-Ridder should be the last gas station on the road to true journalism.

  •  Russert made a total ass of himself (21+ / 0-)

    Hey, I ask tough questions on my show because I can channel my secret little guy sources who can't don't want to go on TV. I'm sure Timmeh was watching last night. Simon's statements must have caused that big fat face to turn all shades of crimson.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:09:43 AM PDT

  •  I think we, as a nation, need to focus on the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geonomist, adigal, dunderhead, lams712

    real cause of the problem. I feel that media complicity is the end result of the real force that drove the "reporters"- the corporate owners that sign their paychecks.

    For the first time I can recall, corporations realized that they could jump on the Bush bandwagon (didn't matter where the wagon was going) and realize unthought about profits.

    It was the corporate owners of the medias who are really to blame. The reporters were (like the Nazis), "just doing their job".

    "The tide is with us, let's all stop rowing the other way."

    by NCCarboys on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:11:47 AM PDT

  •  Was Bill Moyers on TEEVEE? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, lams712

    Hurray!  The air waves are all over this like a wet tee shirt!  MSM deeply reflecting on Moyer's message!  Moyers is Lead Story all over networks!

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:14:21 AM PDT

  •  As I said on another site (22+ / 0-)

    When the history of this period is written down the road apiece, THIS, not the war itself, will be the big story.  How the so-called free press totally rolled over and allowed an administration to pervert the laws of the US.  It is turning out to be the overarching theme about the McCarthy Era and will be so about the past 5 years.  Oh there will be some heroes cited (KR/McClatchey, and yes, the blogs) but, depending on whether what has happened can be fixed, and if so, how long it takes, the abdication of the last check on government power will be what the true historians will seize on.

    And mark my words, just as we found out about Reagan's Alzeheimer's AFTER he left office, we will find out (and as a betting man, I'm betting in a Woodward book) about some, shall we say "deficiency" or some such rotword to describe it, regarding the Boy King that our so-called free press kept from us 'for our own good'.

    I've seen this movie before and believe me, it doesn't end well.

    •  We also found out that the Great, Wise, and Holy (0+ / 0-)

      GIPPER (on whom be pee) had in his youth written cogent, insightful commentary on world affairs, demonstrating his steel-trap grasp of current events. So perhaps they'll discover a cache of Shrubya's writings, proving His laser-beam powers of discernment.

  •  Correction/Modification (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, roses, onemadson, adigal, lams712

    And though Tim Russert and Peter Beinart and Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman can kick back in Washington with their six figure salaries

    You can be sure that, at the very least, Tim Russert has a Seven figure salary.

    Don't assume anything...Verify! It's as easy as 3.14159265

    by Mr SeeMore on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:21:40 AM PDT

    •  Russert: Jack Welch's OWN nappy ho' (9+ / 0-)

      When Jack Welch was the heroic, manly CEO of General Electric in 2000 he called Chris Matthews and Tim Russert into his office, reminded them that they were GE employees and told them that he wanted George Bush to be elected President - for the good of the company. Following the "election", Russert signed a new $40 million contract. Jack Welch was famous for firing incompetence and rewarding excellence.

      The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

      by David Mason on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:40:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jack Welch is a creepy (0+ / 0-)

        leprechaun. I saw him one day at a Red Sox game with his trophy bride, Suzy Wetlaufer and it was kind of repulsive.

      •  Do you have a cite for this? (0+ / 0-)

        Tweety has admitted he voted for Bush in 2000.  

        •  Here's a link to the story (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Irfo, MKS

          Here's an overview:
          http://www.makethemaccountable.com/...

          Welch told several people at GE that the conversation with Rove convinced him that a Bush presidency would ultimately result in billions of dollars of additional profits for General Electric. Welch believed that it was his responsibility to operate in the best interest of GE shareholders, and that now meant using the full power of the world’s biggest corporation to get Bush into the White House.

          Toward that end, Welch said that he would finally deal with a longstanding grievance of his: the ludicrous idea that news organizations should be allowed to operate in conflict with the best interests of the corporations that own them.

          Since the beginning of the country, it has been considered appropriate for the business community to exercise its right to aggressively support the candidate that best represented its interests. The new dimension that Welch introduced was the concept that the mainstream media should aggressively advance the political agenda of the corporations that own it.

          Read the whole thing when you have time to get creeped out even more.

          The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

          by David Mason on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:20:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gulf War One (12+ / 0-)

    Whatever it is appeared to be operating by Gulf War I.

    I remember watching the reporters in the press briefings with Cheney and others, and they were so clueless.  In Vietnam we had reporters who knew something about war, its tools and techniques.  They could ask intelligent questions and make cogent criticism.  By Gulf War One most of the reporters didn't even seem to know the names of the weapons or anything.  I remember audibly groaning at the stupidity of many of the questions in the press briefings.  It's a wonder more people weren't rolling their eyes on camera about it.  And I don't know that much myself.  But even to me, it felt like a bunch of guys and gals had been plucked straight out of Rush Week, given a 5-minute talk about how war is where you shoot guns and bombs and missiles at an enemy, and then dropped straight into the press tent.

    •  One of the key moments last night (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rincewind, theran, opinionated, Alden, KJS, dougymi, LBT

      Was when Pincus described the fate of the Truth Squad the WaPo used to run after a Reagan press conference in 1981. Republicans complained about this and the WaPo decided to stop doing the "truthsquadding" and leave it to the Democrats to call Reagan on his lies. Pincus accurately noted the consequence - instead of independent journalism the media was now simply being a stenographer to a "he said, she said."

      So it seems to me the key shift was in the 1980s, when the media chose to fawn over Reagan instead of do their jobs about him.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't get to watch most of Moyers' program, (18+ / 0-)

    but I saw the part where two McClatchy reporters were telling what they saw and did.  They struck me as honest men doing an honest job, and yet I had never heard of them.  The MSM guys like Russert are the guys I had heard of and loathed.  The world of journalism is standing on its head, with the bad guys controlling the news.

    If you don't have an earth-shaking idea, get one, you'll love building a better world.

    by hestal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:26:35 AM PDT

  •  Ahem (10+ / 0-)

    As the Washington Post's Walter Pincus says, most reporters today actually try to avoid getting scoops because they "worry about sort of getting out ahead of something" and - gasp! - making their friends inside Official Washington mad at them.

    Well we can't have that, can we?

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

  •  Dialup and Google (18+ / 0-)

    Living in the middle of the northern woods in a town of 600 people, one doesn't get many chances to to ringy-dingy the Washington poohbahs. But here I am. Before the war I was asked to help a young author with some fact-checking, and within two days the group I was with had uncovered most of what I know today....5 years later. My tools: google and dial-up.

    Everyone of these jour-no-creeps was lying then; and they continue to lie to cover up the reasons for the original lies.

    They do our country a great disservice, a country that has treated them quite well.

    Stop Iran War Please add to our collective voice.

    by Donna Z on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:31:06 AM PDT

  •  What angers me the most is their complicity (8+ / 0-)

    in bush's fiasco.  Not only should "journalists" be forced to watch this until they "get it", but they should be forced to explain why they cheerleaded us into this phony war to every family who has been hurt by it.  

    Try explaining why their access was more important than the lives of those who were killed or maimed by bushco's arrogance and stupidity.  They'll never ever report that side of the story.

  •  I think what's happened is that failure (6+ / 0-)

    has been redefined as success.  It probably started in the so-called corporate/market competition which somehow got transformed from striving to produce the best good or service to being the only producer left standing after the "competition" is destroyed.  In other words, competition in the market morphed into a conflict model--in imitation of the predator, rather than the co-operative hive.  In other words, the success of one person came to depend on the failure of everyone else, until not-failing became the measure of success--not not-failing at doing one's job, but at managing not to get destroyed.
    Of course, if surviving in one's job is the measure of success (the only thing that counts) then actual performance that might challenge what someone else puts out is not advised.  Indeed, the appearance of failure might endear one to colleagues who fear competition themselves.
    Failure is a more certain way to keep one's job.  And then, of course, there's the opportunity for do-overs.

    "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again."

  •  The "fingerprints" of the.... (7+ / 0-)

    ...mainstream media are all over this war. It seems we are now living in some type of Orwellian dystopia where the media serve the interests of the established order and real journalism is a thing of the past.

    Keep up the fight Moyers and Sirota!!!!!!!!

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:38:38 AM PDT

    •  The scariest part (6+ / 0-)
      was the epilogue in which they had a roll call of the "experts" in the media who have been proven 100% wrong in all of their theories and fears which they so vigorously promoted. The punch line: all of these jerk offs are still treated as experts by the media and their employers! (Cut to a shot of William Safire being given some Medal of Freedom thing by the US "president." You can almost hear the rimshot offscreen.)

      Orwelian dystopia indeed.

      And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

      by Julian on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:51:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On Russert and Beinart (11+ / 0-)

    Thanks for highlighting this part of Russert's appearance:

    There were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them.

    Bad phone, bad sources. You dutifully sat there, and the phone and the sources, they did nothing to help. How incredibly limp, Mr. Russert. But at least you had the grace to appear distinctly sheepish as you uttered those words.

    Not so Peter Beinart, cocky and defiant as you stood up to the aging Bill Moyers. Your body language expressed impudence not chagrin, as though you know that old man Moyers will soon pass from the scene and then there will be no one left to call you on your craven game.

    So I was not doing a lot of primary reporting. But what I was doing was a lot of reading of other people's reporting and reading of what officials were saying.

    Well here's the thing Peter Beinart: I AM NOT A BEAT REPORTER EITHER. Yet I and millions of others knew there was much to doubt about the official arguments for war. How did we know? By reading other people's reporting.

    •  while we watched this (10+ / 0-)

      my wife and i just kept being amazed that all these people could sit there and say they didn't know better or whatever lie they were telling.  She said, "we were saying this every day, how could they not know?".  

      As you say, millions knew the truth.  And we didn't even know how bad the lies really were.  

      I was convinced at the time that they would just plant WMD's.  To this day i'm still amazed they didn't.  When you are willing to lie us into a war if you were any good at all you would at least set up some "evidence" to support your lies.   I think that may be one of their ultimate signs of hubris.  They didn't even bother to finish the scam.  

      •  It's my guess that there (11+ / 0-)

        was someone doing too good a job tracking WMD in the region.

        She was gotten out of the way, but not soon enough and her spouse managed to make a big fuss about something else.

        BTW, the reason they could talk about the aluminum tubes and the yellow cake wasn't because the information had been leaked.  It was because the information WAS false. If it had been true, it would have been classified and talking about it would have been wrong.

        In this topsy-turvey world, telling lies is OK; telling the truth is a violation of national security.

        What the mid-level people didn't understand was that Bush/Cheney were quite content to lie to the American people on purpose.  Thirty percent of the American public still can't believe it.

  •  Christmas list my ass (7+ / 0-)

    These reporters didn't want to get left off the Presidential itinerary list. White House correspondents cover the President. If the reporter reported anything unsavory about the President, they no longer were given the list of upcoming Presidential photo ops, press confrences, or media events. Pretty tough to do your job if you don't have any idea where you're supposed to be.

    Losing in Iraq is not an option, it is a result.

    by bobinson on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:45:52 AM PDT

  •  So there was a perfect storm combining (8+ / 0-)

    cronyism, corporatism which consisted of cutbacks and favoratism and just pure de ole lazyness.  And for that we have lost our country to people who are so ugly inside that if we could view them in person we would probably vomit.

    There was one more piece to that storm and that was the loss of the doctrine of fairness.  No oppo was allowed.  Phil Donahue said he was viewed as TWO liberals and so had to "balance" his show with at least two conservatives if he had no other liberal or no other viewpoint on his show.  But even then he was canned.  Disgusting.

    •  An additional piece (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, glitterscale, bigchin

      is the celebrity culture that television itself fosters.

      When reporters were just names on a page, it was harder to become a celebrity - unless of course you were a gossip or society columnist (effectively part of the entertainment industry as well), like Walter Winchell, Louella Parsons or Hedda Hopper.

      But once reporters began appearing on television, and were asked for not only the facts but their OPINIONS, they became celebrities in their own right and, eventually, the pundit class that spawned the likes of Timmeh was born.

      See Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death for a more comprehensive exegesis on this phenomenon.

      In the beginning, some used this power property (think Cronkite, Murrow) and as time went on and the blue-collar, shoe-leather print tradition became a quaint historical artifact, more and more used it for self-aggrandizement.

      Which, combined with the other factors you so masterfully described, leaves us where we are today.

      You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

      by Sharoney on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:10:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Bush presser in early March of 2003 (11+ / 0-)

    Nothing speaks to the knowing complicity of the media is promoting the Iraq fraud than the Bush press conference with the care "scripting" of questions.  Everyone in the White House press corps knew that Bush was going to follow a script of who to call on for questions.  And the first question as Bush rattled his sabre on the eve of the war?  "How has your faith guided your decisions?"  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:52:35 AM PDT

    •  Not Only Was That A Disgusting Question (0+ / 0-)

      But the way he answered, with his feigned piety, truly made me want to wretch.

      I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

      by opinionated on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Powell used the UK dossier at the UN (6+ / 0-)

    The big thing I took out of Moyers' documentary was the fact that Powell cited the plagiarized dossier during the UN presentation.  I didn't know at the time that Powell used this as evidence.  That's extremely damning.  And it blows my mind that right wingers continue to cite British Intelligence as an unrefuted authority on the Niger uranium story.  Buddha bless Waxman for the subpoena of Rice.  I hope the Dems get front page stories around the world for exposing her charade.

    Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

    by pontechango on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:52:39 AM PDT

  •  The birth of "he said, she said" (13+ / 0-)

    I think it was the head of CNN - he said that during the Reagan administration there was the "Truth Squad", who fact-checked every emanation from The Great Communicator's mouth. So much of what he said was wrong, the Truth Squad had a lot to do.

    Then "people" (I guess that's the '80s equivalent of 'some say') told them to stop harassing the president. So instead of journalists checking facts and reporting accurately, they would go find a Democrat to say that something was incorrect. The reporter himself/herself was relegated at that point to being a stenographer. Every "fact" was reduced to a partisan comment.

    And so now here we are. It's not "Congress" that is voting to end this insane war, it's "Democrats" even though at least a couple of Republicans voted with the "ayes".  It's not the "House Oversight Committee" that's issuing subpoenas, it's "Democrats". Real "conservatives" who object to the evisceration of freedom and liberty are not even heard from - because they're not "Republicans" and so they don't fit into the frame.

    I am proud that here in Birmingham we have a press that at least on local issues is willing to do shoe-leather reporting, and now the Birmingham News has a Pulitzer to show for it. Small steps.

    Fear is the mind-killer. Be not afraid.

    by Lisa in Bama on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:53:19 AM PDT

    •  It was Walter Pincus (9+ / 0-)
      of the WaPo. This has been going on for a LONG time.
    •  Yes It Started With Reagan In Spades: (17+ / 0-)

      I seem to be the only one who remembers this, but I was home ill and caught one of his very first press conferences.

      He was completely demented, didn't know where he was, couldn't answer basic questions, disoriented and just the scariest thing I'd seen in public at that time. I told my roommates the man was full-blown senile; I don't recall knowing the term "Alzheimer's" at that time.

      In the hours afterward there came a flurry of clarifications by White House staff.

      My recollection was that they never let him out offleash thereafter, so from the first few weeks of his administration he was thoroughly scripted and followed after every occasion by detailed statements of what he had meant and even what he had said.

      I also recall at that time the term "spin" lept into the public square to describe the questions and rebuttals of anything said and said to have been said by the so-called President.

      The right was vehement in tarring the press with the derogatory term "media" and in adamantly insisting that reporters must stop "injecting opinion" into reporting --code for fact-checking.

      I agree with the ex CNN exec that the press corp as a human reaction recoiled from embarassing this man who was utterly incompetent to converse on any substantive matter. But there was a massive conservative program to bully the press into stenography and to giving equal coverage to their claims as at the same time they lept into dimensions of fantasy and fraud.

      I'd put 2/3 of the collapse of the press back in Reagan years.

      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 Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:23:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, a whole generation of Americans has grown (8+ / 0-)

        up not understanding the mythology of Reagan.  I believe that dismantling of the cult of Reagan should be one of the top projects of the left-wing blogosphere.  Many disasters of the Bush Administration are directly traceable to Reagan.

        Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

        by pontechango on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:19:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And ironically (4+ / 0-)

          It was that same generation - people like me whose first memories of a president are of Reagan - who voted for Kerry and Democrats in the largest numbers of any age bracket in '04 and '06.

          I totally agree with you that one of our top projects should be the dismantling of any lingering public affection for Reagan. And yes, many of the disasters we face today are the logical outcome of Reaganism. Happily, there are huge sectors of the US public that have already done so, and they include many of those who don't remember anything but Reagan, Clinton, and two Bushes.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:24:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've Said Tht Given Reagan W Becomes Mathematical (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, mdgluon, LJR

          certainty, merely a matter of specifically who and when.

          There's no other purpose for liberating the top end individuals and businesses except an aristocratic takeover of the country.

          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 Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:05:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pincus: The press waits for Democrats (4+ / 0-)

      to investigate and oppose.

      But then, reporters don't even follow the investigative leads.  Instead, they attack Dems for being "political" and try to poke holes in the case without even digging for the truth.  

      Where are our Woodward and Bernstein on the US Attorney Scandal?  They should be digging up the facts -- it should not be up to Henry Waxman alone to get to the bottom of this.  

  •  The complete.. (16+ / 0-)

    ..absolute prostitution of the Press that Moyers exposed was no surprise to me - I knew what was going on, and I'm just a middle-aged, middle-class white woman who lives in a (then) very red state just an hour and a half north of Crawford.
     If it was that obvious to me why, oh why were the journalists so completely snowed?  

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:56:48 AM PDT

  •  What gets me the most is that, where I'm living, (6+ / 0-)

    the journalists actually wrote more critical, better-researched articles during the communist period than they do now, after our detestable right-wingers changed certain media laws in order to gain control of the public television, and abused the country's ownership of certain companies to force them to take over a major newspaper.

    Of course, the sales of the compromised newspaper have dropped sharply, most of the old journalists left (or were fired while some were transferred to harmless positions).

    But the most horrifying thing is that if I contrast  the coverage made by our compromised media with CNN's coverage on international topics, our media are still more credible, present multiple viewpoints, and are more outspoken critics. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't live it...

    Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

    by Dauphin on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

    •  I think people need to look BEFORE 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

       The 2000 election.

      Look at the cigarett companies the energy companies and the television networks.
       It was about Gore trying to find a way around the MSM.  He did anyway.  It's called the internet.
       When Gore looked for a way to promote his issue, Global Warming, he ran into major corporations like Exxon, who had control of the "Message" through advertising and influence in the major media.  No one could get around them, until he started to look into the internet, and how it was used in Universities...  It got around the "elite speak."  Gore decided to get involved and promote the internet.  Now he had all the television networks pissed at him, too.  Because, to fight "Global Warming," he had to find a better model than the MSM...  Spurring a media war.  "Internet vs The MSM"...  They killed Gore's Presidency, but it was too late.  Gore had found a way to promote his cause, without the office he won, and he's decided that it's more important than being Presidnent...  Unless, the American people have a real change of spirit towards the MSM.

  •  We need to Trust Bust the Media Monolith. (15+ / 0-)

    What we have seen with Bill Moyers exposé is the result of too much media power in to few hands.

    Don't assume anything...Verify! It's as easy as 3.14159265

    by Mr SeeMore on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:57:28 AM PDT

  •  Before the war (14+ / 0-)

    I asked-- practically screamed-- at an acquaintance, who is an editor for a large daily, why his paper wasn't investigating and refuting the charges being made by the White House. I ticked off aluminum tubes, yelllowcake, Curveball, Khadir Hamza, Chalabi, Scott Ritter, PNAC, the Rumsfeld memo-- why hadn't they reported any of it.

    He shrugged and actually said that, unless the Democrats made a big deal out of it, there was nothing they could report.

  •  Beat Reporting (4+ / 0-)

    Does anybody actually do that anymore?  I rarely watch any corporate media anymore, because I see very very little information, and a lot of people with opinions that are exactly the same opinions as 20 other people in the industry.  It's 90% opinion, and 10% half-truths.  It's a complete waste of time, you are better off not watching it at all.

    •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

      Most reporters still have their beats -- Wall Street, consumer news, style, local news. These clowns in DC are supposed to be on the national political beat.

      The local news and style sections of many tiny rural weeklies have more insightful reporting than the so-called reporters on this national daily beat. However, all of them could use refresher courses in journalism.

      They don't report OR write the way I learned it in J-school. And they need editors desperately.

      I can barely read most newspapers these days because the stories are so full of little stupid errors that the real story gets lost in congnitive dissonance.

      Maybe it's by design.

  •  these are features, not a bugs (7+ / 0-)

    Russert: "There were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them."

    Beinart: "But what I was doing was a lot of reading of other people's reporting and reading of what officials were saying." (note: isn't that what bloggers do?)

    String Russert's statement with another diary recently about Jack Welch of NBC meeting with Karl Rove in 1999 and you'll get a clearer picture of the new state of journalism. Welsh pays Russert handsomely to look the other way and to set an example for other reporters. And I guess Beinart is another one of those examples of falling upward as well.

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -7.28

    by solesse413 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:11:30 AM PDT

  •  final nail was around 1998-1999 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, eugene, adigal, pioneer111

    it's been happening.  little by little they kept buying and buying.

    we can change it back.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:12:38 AM PDT

    •  Started around 1993 or so? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bwintx, hypersphere01

      From my point of view, the contemporary era of media cockups began in earnest in about 1993. The precipitating event was the White House Travel Office non-scandal scandal. Less than a year later the trend was cast in stone with the Whitewater faux-scandal perpetuated by Jeff Gerth and the New York Times.

      I agree that 1998 was about the time when the right-wing Wurlitzer and media incompetence / complicity was laid bare for all to see. Clinton's impeachment was really just the culmination of several years worth of unsubstantiated scandalmongering on the part of the Republicans, which wouldn't have been possible without the complicity of the media. Simultaneously, we learned that reporters at the WaPo were serving as ready conduits for leaks from the Starr Commission. 1998 was also about when Jeff Gerth and the NYT outdid themselves and kicked off the Wen Ho Lee debacle.

      The 2000 election campaign was the death knell for mainstream media credibilty. There was the Al Gore and the Buddhist Temple non-scandal, Al Gore and earth tones, Al Gore and the Internet, Al Gore the alpha male...the whole media 'Heathers' phenomenon. Meanwhile, Bush got a free pass on any number of nonsensical campaign promises and misrepresentation of his record in Texas.

      So really, the current sad state of affairs is no mystery. It's pretty clear how we got here.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:43:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't know if anyone caught the clip (6+ / 0-)

    on CNN last night of the "60 Minutes" interview with Tenent peddling his new book. Tenet, was a bully, thrusting his finger at the interviewer as he denied torture.  Like Cheney and Bush, when the questions became difficult, he resorted to aggression. After the clip and news report, Blitzer referred to Tenet's interview as "spirited."  It was nothing of the sort.  I remember reading long ago in the NY Times, one of the reporters (I believe it was Judith Miller) said interviewing the White House was scary.

    From the transcript:

    JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, former CIA Director George Tenet really came out swinging, trying to rebuild his reputation tarnished by that famous assessment that the intelligence Iraq was a "slam dunk." He has got a new book out. And listen to this spirited exchange with CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley about the so-called high-value detainee program which used, as you said, enhanced interrogation techniques, which, as you will hear Tenet say, he insists is not torture.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "60 MINUTES")

    GEORGE TENET, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: The image that has been portrayed is, we sat around the campfire and said, oh, boy, now we go get to go torture people. We don't torture people. Let me say that again to you, we don't torture people.

    SCOTT PELLEY, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Come on, George.

    TENET: We don't torture people.

    PELLEY: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    TENET: We don't torture people.

    PELLEY: Water-boarding?

    TENET: We do not -- I don't talk about techniques and we don't torture people. No, listen to me. I want you to listen to me.  So the context is, it's post 9/11, I've got reports of nuclear weapons in New York City, apartment buildings that are going to be blown up, planes that are going to fly into airports all over again. Plotlines that I don't know -- I don't know what's going on inside the United States, and I'm struggling to find out where the next disaster is going to occur.

    Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through, the palpable fear that we felt on the basis of the fact that there was so much we did not know.

    The interview by transcript only gives a hint of the magnitude of ugly aggession by Tenet--Pelley didn't stand a chance of getting an honest interview.  I'm not giving reporters and journalist a pass-NOT IN THE LEAST-but the behavior does play a role in why the MSM became a bunch of sheep.  

  •  Playing Devil's Advocate.... (4+ / 0-)

    the failure of the press was utterly predictable in that atmosphere.   Remember back to that time: the towers were down, America was going to kick somebodies ass, the writing was on the wall.  Remember the clip of Oprah the war hawk dissing that peacenik on her show? Donahue getting taken out in a pre-emptive strike?  That's how bad things were.

    Most people are not brave and go along to get along.  Anyone who stood up against the administration would be discredited and destroyed no question.  I wish Timmeh had the courage to jump on a grenade but he didn't.  In any case he wouldn't even be Timmeh anymore.. he would be that guy whatshisname who used to be somebody but now does the weather in Buffalo.

    Even if the establishment people had all fallen on their swords there would always be little rats like Peter Beinart that would have sprung up to take their place.

    That's what I'm on about. Did you see him repressing me?

    by sommervr on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:18:25 AM PDT

    •  What you say is true if one or two stick their (0+ / 0-)

      necks out. But if ALL of them had challenged the admin, then you are wrong. It's not much different than how any dictatorship works.

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Moyers also talked to Teri Gross on Fresh Air (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, mrkvica, Sargent Pepper, Gorette, LJR

    this week.  It's free on iTunes if anyone wanted a wee bit more of Moyers.  He also talked about the Ken Tomlinson kerfuffle.  

    Recommended, David.  Looking forward to watching it (Teri said it was being aired this Friday.  I will track it down one way or another).

    Never separate the life you live from the words you speak. -- Paul Wellstone

    by vome minnesota on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:19:01 AM PDT

  •  Russert and Beinart: The worst has happened now (6+ / 0-)

    Like everyone else in the world, they probably sit around and think they're frauds and someday someone will find out.  Of course, the truth is more complicated than that.  Frequently, we underestimate our abilities and overestimate our fears and as a result, we underperform.  
    So, now, we all know what a $h*TTy job both Beinart and Russert did in the run-up to the war.  (To his credit, Bob Simon admits that he knew what the score was but he soft-selled it.  You can see that he feels genuine regret.)
    So, Ok, Peter and Tim, we've now seen the worst sides of you.  The question is, what are you going to do about it?  Are you still going to be in a state of denial?  Just say, "Well, everyone was doing it."?  Continue to admit that you passed on being an actual journalist to take the easy way?  
    Or will you face your fears, admit your role in what happened, express contrition, and work to make journalism better?  
    Or can we safely ignore you now?  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:19:26 AM PDT

    •  Don't hold your breath (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pioneer111

      The theme of the show is that journalist know their careers are at stake when they report the news. The blue-collar guy from buffalo is not giving up his Marthas Vineyard vacation home for principle. Neither is the political journalist who reads a lot.

      •  But it's not 2002 anymore (0+ / 0-)

        Moyer's point was that the bandwagon effect was very strong after 9/11 and the Bushies took advantage of it to pushe the war.  They marginalized the dissenters but they couldn't have gotten away with it if the patriotic fervor in the wake of 9/11 hadn't made it possible.  
        In 2007, the fever has worn off, the public is recovering nicely but the media hasn't.  There is no penalty for reporting the truth now and that is why it is so mystifying that Broder and Russert haven't done it.  In fact, they are becoming completely ineffective.  Most people are cynical about Russert and Broder just embarrasses himself on a daily basis.  
        The laws of natural selection say that an organism that fails to adapt to its environment will not survive.  Russert and Beinart aren't dinosaurs yet but they're getting pretty damn close.  

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:28:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we'll see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          goldberry

          as moyers also pointed out, not one of those bloviators has paid a price for being as wrong as they were. you can still find them on TV, allowed to present themselves as experts and never confronted about where they were wrong. for crying out loud, you can actually find Chuck Colson, a convicted felon for his role in watergate, on cable news panesl and he's not confronted by other guests as the wrong guy to take serious on matters of political ethics.

          its like 1984. they control the past so they don't have to confront the unconfortable aspects of the past.

          i suspect that if a democrat wins the whitehouse in 2008, the maintstream press will rediscover their skepticism. all notions that you don't criticize leaders in the middle of war will be gone, and critics who point out their double standard will be reminded of their past own statements about the need for a tough and agressive press.

    •  I think Russert is very spooked (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, oldjohnbrown, pioneer111

      Consider his I R A K spelling, on air, yesterday (when he spelled Iraq like that.) If NBC has any credibility, they will fire his ass. Period. OR I will only watch Keith O., and I will write to them and every sponsor I can find.

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who will ask the question at the press conference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiaD, pioneer111

    Was that question and answer pre-arranged? How many of todays questions were pre-arranged between the agencies that the reporters work for and the person presenting at the press conference?

    Who will ask these questions? When will "reporters" or "journalists" ask these questions? It was just sickening to watch the Moyers show clips of staged press conferences knowing that they were staged and that everyone must have known in some way that they were. Clearly the people asking scripted questions knew. There should be a ban on the theater of raising your hand at a press conference if there is nothing random about the asking of questions.

    Better yet bring back the equal time provision for broadcast media. Enact legislation that the funding and political connections of all "experts" used on news shows must be displayed in the crawler at the bottom of the screen and affirmed orally by the "journalist" who is using the "expert".

    Our economy sucks up our environment, people, and government. Redesign it at Beyond Political Center

    by Bob Guyer on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:22:02 AM PDT

    •  How many will really pay attention to Moyers? (0+ / 0-)

      This will be an internet buzz, then what.

      The way the RW has worked is to ignore bad news.  Look at Condi.  She may not honor the subpoena.  

      Will all the WH press corps start doing the ethical thing or will they continue to do their job, i.e. promote neocon talking points?

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:37:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Journalists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philimus, pioneer111

    If you want to use an NBA analogy, then why not this one: who scores twenty points a game?  Does the average player?  Or only the best?

    Like any profession, there are only a minority of reporters who are truly excellent.  The rest are workmen-like, they make little money, and do their job the best they can, worrying about layoffs, cutbacks, closings, etc.

    Then there are the others.

    So who are these reporters who work at the White House?  

    Look at your own profession.  Do the best and brightest, the hardest working get promoted? or do those who kiss-ass, who get along?  The White House attracts the worst reporters, not the best.  Those few who do their job competently are generally in trouble and eventually get pulled by their editors -- who themselves probably never deserved to rise to their positions of responsibility.

    So what about those two guys at Knight-Ridder, now McClatchy, did they get scooped up by the WaPo or NYTimes after showing how talented they were?  Of course not.  Their work may have been the best, but what willl that get them?  In today's media world they are lucky they didn't get fired.  But with the sale of Knight-Ridder their days are numbered, nonetheless. That is the fate of most reporters -- good or bad.  

  •  There's a difference between (0+ / 0-)

    Punditry and Journalism.

    I think Journalism is dead.  Tim Russert isn't a journalist.  Peter Beinart doesn't claim to be a journalist.

    Who does, anymore?

    More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

    by Edgar08 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:27:21 AM PDT

    •  It's not dead, just ossified and corrupt (6+ / 0-)

      at the national level. But there are still plenty of decent, talented, ethical and hard-working journalists still doing a great job. They mostly though don't work for the bigger and better-known national outlets. But even the NY Times and WaPo still have a number of really good reporters--e.g. Priest, Pincus, Risen, Lichtblau.

      In addition to calling out, condemning and taking down the dead wood and lapdogs, we need to praise and promote the good ones, and encourage existing media outlets to bring more of them onboard--and new ones to emerge. Competition does wonders for quality.

      "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

      by kovie on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:49:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  None of them are mainstream (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Floja Roja

        The most mainstream real journalist I can think of is Amanpour.

        More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

        by Edgar08 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:06:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Floja Roja

          Um, Priest, Risen, Lichblau, Scheer, Hersh, Savage...

          I literally provided some of these as examples and yet you totally ignored it.

          "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

          by kovie on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:10:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because I don't see them as mainstream (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            Sorry.

            The people you mentioned are great journalists.  I wasn't saying they weren't.  I'm saying that if you sat down with your family (or rather my family, I shouldn't speak for others, but you get the intent here, I hope) for Thanksgiving and started talking about Hersh's latest in the New Yorker, then there's a disconnect there.

            It's funny.  We're in an information age, but no one wants information.  They want to know what they think and what their agenda is.

            So everyone mainstream is a pundit.

            Maybe "dead" is too dire a word.  Maybe "not at this time relevant to a collective American Psyche," is the best way to qualify it.

            More time is being spent trying to create agreement in the Dem Party than is being spent trying to exploit disagreement in the Republican Party.

            by Edgar08 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:20:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, you're referring to the spoon-fed media (7+ / 0-)

              that the majority of Americans appear to continue to believe and receive their news and opinions from, that is closer in content and style to Inside Edition and People magazine than to the Edward R. Murrow brand of journalism. Can't argue with you on that--my family is just as bad as yours on this count. Most of them despise BushCo, yet continue to spout the latest distortions, spin, talking points and outright lies making the rounds just because Lou Dobbs and Wolf Blitzer recited them on TV.

              Yes, there is a disconnect that I don't quite get. The closest analogy I can think of is a battered spouse who keeps defending their abusive partner and going back to them, against all logic. Perhaps most Americans have yet to figure out that the media that they've been getting their news and opinions from are not only no better than the politicians that they've now come to see through and despise, but utterly and knowingly complicit in their corruption, dishonesty and incompetence.

              I'm hoping that, with time, the continued great work of these superb REAL journalists, and with the rise of a viable alternative media infrastructure that is built upon ethical journalism and not cheap entertainment values, more and more Americans will come around to rejecting today's MSM. One of the great things about a democracy--however ailing--and in fact one of its essential qualities if it's to survive, is that it's dynamic, with low-quality and outmoded entities being continually challenged and pushed aside by new and emerging higher-quality and more relevant ones. E.g. PCs replacing mainframes, or hybrid cars now slowly replacing gas guzzlers (once again). I believe that we'll eventually see the same thing happening to today's dreadful MSM.

              We were patient enough to wait 12 years for Dems to retake congress, 6 years for Bush to finally meet his match, and 26 years for the conservative movement to finally implode. I think we should be equally patient as the media undergoes its own inevitable transformation, brought about by its own growing irrelevance and incompetence. Sooner or later, crap, like cream, rises to the surface to be skimmed off.

              "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

              by kovie on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:36:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Today, Glenn Greenwald prints an interview....... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Floja Roja, kovie

            ......that he did (via e-mail) with the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage that sets out why he succeeded where others failed. Savage's background (Yale Law graduate, not mentioned there) was invaluable.

            "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain." http://spaciousskies.blogspot.com/

            by Ed Tracey on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:41:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's Built to Work This Way Under Our System (0+ / 0-)

    You cannot grant the most sweeping Constitutional freedoms to an industry and expect as the economy moves into the mega-corporate information age that the industry can be hijacked to serve the interests of the public or democracy.

    Skeptical, investigative journalism is against every interest of this industry: it's too expensive to produce compared with other things they can do, it draws too small an audience compared to other things they can do, and it threatens its own business as well as all major sponsors' business.

    The media are doing exactly what our system is designed and built for them to do.

    There is simply no solution to this complaint.

    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 Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:30:00 AM PDT

    •  Not so sure about "no solution" (6+ / 0-)

      If there's a market for high-quality food, consumer goods and books, why not one for media? I simply don't buy the projections of an irreversibly downward slide for the media being made by some. Yes, old, established, big corporate media is beyond redemption. But to me that just indicates an opportunity for newer, fresher, higher-quality media outlets to take their place. Just as Toyota and Honda have been replacing GM and Ford, and Sony and Toshiba replaced Zenith and Sylvania (and PCs replaced mainframes), why can't new, alternate media outlets replace the NY Times, WaPo and CNN? The internet makes this a lot easier and cheaper than it once was--especially with high-quality broadband video on the horizon, and the Google model driving revenue generation.

      New industries, empires and civilizations are often built on the ruins of the dying or dead ones that they replaced. I see no reason for why this can't happen with the media.

      "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

      by kovie on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:58:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Josh Marshall (0+ / 0-)

        excellent illustration of your point. Started out on his own as an investigative reporter selling stories. Now he has a "mini media empire" and has moved into podcasting as well at the TPM franchise. All supported by people who respect and value the truth.

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

        by carolita on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:05:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need nonprofit media, free to tell truth. n/t (3+ / 0-)

      We will never eliminate poverty in America unless we do it comprehensively and nationally....no more incrementalism. - John Edwards

      by Gorette on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:04:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need a growth in conversation (0+ / 0-)

         Non-profit media is exactly what we are.  We still need to get the ka-ching to those who exemplify the ideals of journalistic integrity.  

         People spending bucks learning the trade of investigative journalism have to have an incentive not to go into a competitve branch of the field, like Intelligence or corporate espionage.

         But raising the level of information sharing is killing the thirty-second sound bytes...
         (Gore's "two-way communication model" is winning  ;)

        •  True. I dream of a world (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hermitcrab

          in which Atrios reads daily headlines, Digby runs a two hour editorial type show every night, and Josh Marshall appears on 10-30 programs every night. That would be what I dream of.

          Sociopathy is not an innate talent. It is a honed skill.

          by horatius on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:09:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think Television will go the way of AM radio (0+ / 0-)

             Cheaper and cheaper until people with the mind-set of Rush Limbaugh apologists are really the only ones listenting.

             Internet...  We need to get people into the Digital world.  Leave the Tele behind, you might as well scream at Green Goblin or The Sand-Man in Spider-Man III...  They're cooler villians and just as based in reality.

            •  Not just television (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hermitcrab

              The Pull Model is tremendously more powerful than the "Push" model of TV. Especially if a government as incompetent as the "Republican" government is in charge and in control of the "Push" model everywhere.

              The internet is the immune system of a healthy Democracy kicking in. We, active citizens are the white blood cells. And Dr. Horatius takes one look at the cancer and diagnoses a remission. The patient will live a while longer!!!

              Sociopathy is not an innate talent. It is a honed skill.

              by horatius on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:22:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  MSM is STD to USA... Causing Illiberal Democracy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                horatius

                 That's my dianosis, Doc.  :)

                You are right on about the push v pull.
                 
                 The country is founded on "Western Liberalism."  When it gets sick with a social disease (Like the guys running it now) it becomes illiberalism, or ill-liberalism.  
                 The cure, as always, to a liberal, is an informed public...  And a little revolution now and then...  Of course.

  •  What about us? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, adigal, pioneer111

    No doubt the media is culpable for its complicity in selling the war based on false pretenses, BUT what about us - the citizens of America??

    How culpable are we?

    How many of us have attended a candle-light vigil for a fallen soldier or an Iraqi child killed? How many of us protested as the war drums beat in fall 2002? How many of us confronted our elected representatives to demand tangible evidence of WMD and the Al Qaeda connection? How many of us wrote letters to our local newspaper editors expressing doubt about the Administration's evidence and their lack of scepticism? How many of us called advertisers on mainstream TV news and talk shows? How many of us cancelled subscriptions to papers and magazines and stopped viewing the corporate media's news and talk shows?

    Obviously not enough since the polls in spring 2003 showed the majority of us supported the invasion of Iraq.

    A question I have is how many of us were afraid to act in opposition concerned about the "spotlight" and acts of retaliation by this Administration? I know I was fearful as I saw the march to fascism in our country.

    •  How many of us were unwilling to challenge (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, Spud1, sockpuppet, mrkvica

      family members and neighbors because we didn't want a fight at dinner or at the backyard barbecue?

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:05:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:27:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did, too, with alienating consequences (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spud1

        My whole Klan of die-hard Rethug Bushbot cultists were swallowing the October - December 2002 advertising propaganda blitz to sell the Iraq invasion, hook/line/sinker.  

        I told them adamantly:  there are no WMD's in Iraq.    Saddam is easily contained by the current UN sanctions.   An invasion of Iraq would be swatting a hornets' nest like a pinada, with untold disastrous consequences for peace efforts in the Middle East.  

        The family Klan put their fingers in their ears with the equivalent of LA-LA-LA we-can't-hear-you.   And the familial "war" was on, continuing to this day.   (And every time I see those poll numbers of the pathetic 28%-32% who still think Bush is a competent President and/or the Iraq war has been worth it, I just know my family is part of those statistics.  damn.)

        In December of 2002, I gave my Mom and sisters each a "Braveheart" crystal brooch pin to wear, in red/white/blue sparkles.  "This is for you to wear every day for the troops who are going to die for this Bushco folly."   "Why doesn't your household wear one?" they asked.  "Because this is not our war, we don't want it, and we know it's not necessary," I vehemently replied.

        Y'know, if I and millions of others around the US and the globe could see these truths about the lies from the Bush admin justifying their NeoCon invasion agenda prior to March 2003, why couldn't the MSM see it, too?   WHY?  (Russert, your answer is totally inadequate.)

  •  when their 6-figure salaries become anchors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal

    will the tide shift, at some point the networks will have to justify their bloated paychecks to the shareholders when the viewers dwindle as they turn to the internet or elsewhere for the truth.  I am turning away from the Sunday idiot heads more and more, not caring what they have to say.  There is a message war and the conservatives have used the Sunday shows to "communicate" with the American people for years.  Progressives have been forced to respond in kind and "communicate" through the Sunday talk shows.  But the independence and "hard hitting questions" are getting fewer and farther in between.  

  •  They wanted a war (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJS, adigal, horatius

    The point was made above about CNN's rating over its history, and the biggest spike was during Gulf War I. This isn't hard to fgigure out.. they wanted war. They wanted it for financial and for career reasons. The Journalists wanted their war coverage to "spruce" up their resume, the suits wanted the money from the advertisers. So they went along with it, and there is no accountability.

    So help me god, they will do the same thing again in the future. Because they know they will win financially.

    •  Look at the Va. Tech shootings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      The anchors and producers absolutely know that these things are like a video game for the whackjobs - now "32" is the new high score to beat - and they absolutely know that they are feeding them motivation with every crocodile tear and "background" story. Death is fun! Death sells! When you're bored with the size of J. Lo's ass and American Idol, catapult a war (or two) - maybe you'll even get a raise.

      People like easy money, and these stories have a sequence of pre-written scripts -
      "The Lone Gunman's Troubled Past"
      "The Candlelight Vigil"

      "The Wounded Vet Returns Home"
      "In the Horror of War, Small Acts of Kindness"
      (starring adorable little Iraqi children grateful for candy from the Big Studly American Soldier)

      God forbid any "journalists" should have to work to find a story.

      The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

      by David Mason on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:58:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My comments: NPR and Dan Rather (7+ / 0-)
    I watched Bill Moyers last night and was glad he has returned to PBS (did you know his program audio is available by podcast?).

    My reactions were:

    1. Dan Rather rope-a-doped and got all gee whiz I'm sorry for his lining up behind Bush.  I have no sympathy for Dan Rather.  He liked the money and betrayed his profession.

    2. NPR was not mentioned, and should have been, for its blantant approval of the war.  NPR was as complicit as was the NY Times, FOX 'news'.  

    3. Bob Simon:  too big for the room, he understood the deception, did the ground work, knew the deal, and appropriately snickered at the press's lack of intellecutual curiosity.  Bravo Bob Simon.

    4. Tim Russert: a total shill, propagandist, should be fired.

    5. Donahue: bring him back MSNBC, with a 20 year contract.

    6. Amy Goodman:  should have been mentioned, sorry she wasn't.

    7.Bill Moyers:  Bravo, and keep the programs and podcasts coming, we need you. Don't let NPR off so easily.

    Good Luck..

    •  I just raised my pledge to PBS and gave reason as (4+ / 0-)

      the Moyer's broadcast, so there was no mis-understanding of my support.  I challenge other Kossacks to put their cash on the line to PBS so  the MSM press could see "We mean business."  

      •  Actually I won't give my PBS affiliate WKAR (0+ / 0-)

        any money ever again. They had their on-line auction last night. I think the timing was deliberate. They didn't have any conflicts about showing the awful perle documentary last week. This one? nope.  

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:35:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  podcast (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      Thanks for that info. It looks like it will be here as the program kicks off. Subscribe url is there.

    •  IN his interview on Democracy Now! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      yesterday, Moyers does label NPR as complicit as the other media.

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:18:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NPR did more than slant its coverage. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      Its celebrity hosts were actively beating the war drum in personal speaking engagements right after 9/11.

      When Scott Simon, self-described pacifist and Quaker, used his air time to smear those who opposed the war, I stopped listening to his show and haven't tuned in since. His commentary later surfaced on Oct. 11, 2001, like the scum on a septic tank, in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, which was too happy to have a member of the most liberal of the "liberal media" wave the war flag in its op-ed section.

      To add insult to injury, Simon piously responded to criticism over his advocacy of the WOT by sniffing that those who objected to his using his status as a national reporter for NPR to give such an essay simply didn't agree with his message.

      You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

      by Sharoney on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  right about NPR! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, gizmo59

      and my reaction was

      1. Knight Ridder reporters are heroes.
  •  It was also about fear. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, adigal, Gorette, pioneer111

    Before Cincy Sheehan, before Pat Fitzgerald, before other dissident voices like Wes Clark and Jim Webb who warned about the consequences that were to follow Bush's "Preventive" war, galvanized the anti-war feelings, there was a lot of fear in the Congress and the country. Wasn't it fear of political repercussions that caused 77 senators to vote for the Iraq War resolution, including those Senators who are now running for president?

    The Knight Ridder people were wonderful. Are they now with McClatchy?
    Thanks for diary.

  •  When Russert says... (12+ / 0-)

    I'm a blue-collar kid from Buffalo, what he wants us to ignore is that he's a rich fat ass on the Beltway Gravy Train.

  •  Today's MSM "journalists" are unreformable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJS, Pohjola, adigal

    They will not change, because there's no incentive for them to change. The only way for the media to return to its proper investigatory and watchdog--and not stenographic and lapdog--role is for it to be challenged by competing alternative journalists and outlets who have no vested professional, financial, social and ideological interest in playing along with the political establishment's lies, spin and propaganda.

    As with the political establishment itself, the solution is not to reform those currently within it, who are corrupt beyond repemption, but to replace them with people who still give a damn about and are capable of doing their job properly. We don't need to "fix" the MSM--we need to replace it outright. There are new media empires waiting to be built on the ruins of today's corrupt and irredeemable media, by those with the talent, will and resolve.

    "There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period." -- General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

    by kovie on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:45:20 AM PDT

  •  Moyer's show was excellent and (8+ / 0-)

    brought together witnesses to what most of us here knew all along.  But let's be completely clear that there was absolutely nothing unusual in the behavior of the "press" during the runup to the American attack on Iraq.  This sort of corrupt and degenerate behavior has been on full display for at least 15 years.  The only unique aspect to the coverage of the Iraq war is the price we will pay as a nation for this disaster.

    Honesty also requires that we acknowledge that there has never been a "golden era" when the press functioned with honor although some times have been better than others and the present is probably the most degenerate and corrupt era of the "press."  

    One can point to the key milestones on the way to our present state:

    • Reagan legitimized blatant lying and senile behavior among senior leadership.  This is his real political legacy.
    • The Reagan administration eliminated the fairness doctrine and stopped enforcing anti-trust laws starting the aggregation of "news" organizations.
    • Cable News, starting with CNN, had to fill the full 24 hours with something and so invented "punditry", or organized professional lying without informed rebuttal.
    • The establishment of Fox "News" as an integral part for of the Right-Wing attack machine.  (Fox bagan Brilliantly as a sports network to attract mainly young men who are the ideal target for right-wing propoganda.)

    I grew weary of having my intelligence insulted back in the early 90's and disconnected from cable and broadcast TV and highly recommend that others do likewise (especially families with children).

    The Democrats should take a wrecking ball to the media conglomerates and shatter them into hundreds of pieces.  We should also return to the fairness doctrine, or something like it.  As a condition of renting our broadcast licenses we should require that each station run an hour of real news without commercials.  If the broadcasters don't like it, to hell with them.  Take the licenses back and auction them to someone who will use them within civilized rules.  The airwaves belong to us and we should act like it.  The cable rights-of-way also largely belong to the public or legitimately fall under regulatory power of the government.  Congress should not be timid about regulating them too.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:55:21 AM PDT

  •  the layers of failure (6+ / 0-)

    Moyers does a great job of letting the players perform the roles and dysfunctions that they crafted for themselves in the run-up to the invasion:

    Russert, who insists that his lazy complicity was someone else's fault: the experts who didn't call him, the opposition party that offered little opposition.  With poorly-veiled embarrassment, he rationalizes see-no-evil, transcription journalism and the he-said/she-said impotence that now defines his profession.

    Beinart, who comes off as the clueless, self-promoted expert that he is-- so obviously a kid who was out of his league, but still couldn't stop selling his half-baked, poorly informed opinions.

    And 'poor' Dan Rather, who clearly had lost control of his senses and emotions (even before 9/11), and ultimately cowered before the many fears that inhabit the world of journalism.  To his limited credit, Rather owns up to his cowardice, and plays an instructive role in Moyers' treatise-- helping to show how the machinery of the Right, and corporate purse-strings now rule most of the industry that was once defined by the courage of people like Edward R. Murrow.

    With these characters, and others, Moyers has begun to cast the spotlight upon the cravenness, self-interest, ignorance, laziness and cowardice that infests US news media.  I only hope that he continues to call out more of these people, who yielded their ethics, responsibilities and consciences to become accomplice to one of the great crimes of our time.

  •  Important News but Old News (0+ / 0-)

    It's been a long time coming.

    three important older sources sources:

    Mark Hertsgaard
    On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

    Kristina Borjesson (Editor)
    Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press

    And yes I know, Chomsky and Herman are 'too extreme', but this one is really good - even if you think you hate them.

    Chomsky & Herman
    Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

  •  "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, oldjohnbrown, LJR

    explains the motive for lack of interest.

    Advertising is a lost leader, and the real money comes from advertising.  When ownership is in so few hands and so connected to this particular administration, it's hard not to offend.  And to offend has serious consequences not only in money, favors, and access.

    So this is what we get in a quid quo pro system that has nothing to do with reporting what's really going on.

    Thank goodness for the internet.

    And precisely for that reason, the internet is on the "hit" list to get rid of asap.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

  •  MSM is still doing it (6+ / 0-)

    The show made it seem like a thing of the past, with so many journalists admitting mistakes but the reality is they are still doing it.

    Case in point is guest worker Visas, even to the point of the poll questions.  Hardly any reporter actually reads legislation, digs into the facts and reports on those very facts.  Instead they are seemingly (because so many stories are almost identical), taking corporate public relations and lobbyists press kits and really rewriting them.  They might be a 1 or 2 line sentence from a researcher at the bottom of the article and present facts as opinion.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:04:19 AM PDT

  •  What Was Jaw Dropping To Me (8+ / 0-)

    was when he was showing Colin Powell screwing up his reputation, then went to the news headlines and every one of them used the phrase "Making The Case."  Who told them to use that phrase, and what are the odds they all came up with it on their own?

  •  Oprah (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Floja Roja, Tanya, Mae

    Judith Miller was on Oprah! That I did not know.

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, OpherGopher, Tanya

    The problem was, Beltway reporters didn't want to see it

    Not just Beltway reporters, but regular thinking Americans too. Let me remind everyone of all those cars with American flags flapping from their windows.

    Many of you here reading this had those flags.

    It was a time when people were getting behind their country as if it were a sports team (in fact, the summer before the 9/11 attacks had the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals, and Detroit was awash in similar flags on its highways). Such fanaticism - and that's what it was - clouded the judgment of many people, even those that should have known better.

    So Moyer's criticism of the MSM is actually much more than that - it is also an indictment of the consumers of this "news," those that allowed themselves to be deceived.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:16:38 AM PDT

    •  Great way of putting it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1

      It was a time when people were getting behind their country as if it were a sports team

      That mindset, in modern times at least, was a product of the Reagan era. It was at its most obnoxious at the Olympic Games, which became under Reagan the United States's Olympics with Everyone Else.

      You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

      by Sharoney on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:21:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was told by campaign managers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, sockpuppet, dragoneyes, inHI

    that the press is so lazy that smart campaigns will write the story for the journalists. Unfortunately, the right wingers discovered this long before progressives. That's why the media echos the right wingers whether the journalists are actually conservative or liberal.

    •  Good organizers always did that but it's worse (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJS, sockpuppet, Tanya, BlueTide, inHI

      That's true about the press releases.  I was taught that by union organizers in the J P Stevens campaign 30 years ago.  (Can it be that long?  Oh God, where did the time go?)  It's served me well over the years in terms of getting good local press.

      The difference now is that the mass media is more centrally owned than ever before by a tiny group of corporations that also are part of the Military-industrial comples itself, they depend as much on their war contracts as on their Neilsen ratings for economic profit.    Thus the "laziness" factor has been eclipsed as a driving force by corporate agenda of support for right wing policy.

  •  Let's Make It Happen Again. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, inHI

    Bow and Arrow --> Rifle
    Lantern --> Flashlight
    Mule --> Tractor
    Horse --> Automobile
    Typewriter --> PC
    CD --> MP3
    Library --> Internet

    Mainstream Media --> Blogosphere

    I, for one, think history is on our side.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:18:28 AM PDT

  •  Arguing with the President (8+ / 0-)

    That doesn't pass the smell test. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY had a problem engaging Clinton and his team in an argument.

    The difference is who is in Big Petroleum's pocket and who isn't. Those are the people that Ms. Bumiller and her ilk are so frightened of, lest they have to experience the horror of having to apply themselves with some modicum of effort in order to earn a decent income.

  •  What IS Mr. Russert's Telephone Number? (6+ / 0-)

    I'd like to know what Mr.Russert's telephone number is.  I'd bet that a number of us would like to know it.  I'd bet a number of us would just jump at the chance to call and discomfort this lying, lazy container of crap.  When does NBC make his direct telephone number and email address available so knowledgeable people can let him know what's really going on in this nation.

    He rolled over for the administration, not even bothering to challenge Cheney and the other liars when they were spewing their falsehoods.  Russert's arms are bloody up to his armpits with his rooting for this war.  He's been reduced to nothing more than a cheerleader waving pom-poms and he's too stupid to even realize it.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:34:02 AM PDT

  •  David: This whole thing is devastating. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdgluon, hermitcrab, Spoonfulofsugar

    And, it has been compounded over the decades by continuous denial. Iran Contra, funding Saddam's WMD, playing with dictators... the list of grievous behaviors by our government (usually right wing militarists) is absolutely horrid.

    The deafening silence - even on NPR! - today, about the revoting conduct of the press not covering the treasonous plans and deceits of Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Bush, Card, Gonzales, etc., etc - as revealed by Moyers broadcast...

    Well, whew, this silence portends an out-right disaster for our nation!

    We are the enemy, because we are Americans and our government is deceit-filled with murders and thieves. And we are doing, saying, nothing as a nation. We are shopping, going to school, going to work, as if everything is fine.

    We are the Nazis.

    And, without a complete investigation that results in utter transparency regarding all the games of the past that led us to the present, we are building our future on sand...

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:36:06 AM PDT

  •  Journalism is a business (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philimus

    David Sirota wrote:

    I went to journalism school because I thought journalism was about sifting through the B.S. in order to challenge power and hold the Establishment accountable.

    I don't know why they would teach you anything like that. It's completely erroneous. Journalism is a business whose purpose is to make the owners rich. What is all this hand-wringing about ethical principals?

    Reporters don't decide editorial policy. They just execute what the owners decide. I'm absolutely mystified by all this criticism of individual media figures. Are they supposed to defy their bosses?

    So now there's some self-scrutiny and maybe a little of it is coming from the top. I wrote in 1984 in a story that was never published, "I wonder if the New York Times would have been quite as concerned about Jacobo Timerman if had been a reporter instead of a publisher."

    The question is just as relevant today. Have a nice day, Internet viewers! While you can.

    newsroom-l.net News and issues for journalists.

    by Jules Siegel on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:36:11 AM PDT

    •  Yes and no. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdgluon, Tanya

      Journalists work for their corporate owners just like doctors do. There are, believe it or not, moments when professionals ask themselves if what they're doing is ethical enough to stay. Journalists are not making widgets.

      If a doctor complies with an order to deny care to a patient who's insurance is not up to date then that doctor defies her/his oath and is no longer a doctor. At some point, you quit. We do. Honest ethical Americans do it every day.  

      IMO, Russert may be just an employee but he personally put his name, his reputation, on his work and is accountable regardless of how he or his bosses feel.

  •  simpering fools! can 'em all! (0+ / 0-)

    New pithy saying nominees being considered. . .

    by BenGoshi on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:36:54 AM PDT

  •  What’s the difference between MSM and blog (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wordene

    What’s the difference between MSM and blogers?

    The MSM pretends to be reporters, don’t know when they have been duped, and make the big bucks.  

  •  Hey they got to sit next to Jeff Gannon (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure he explained how journalism works.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:44:04 AM PDT

  •  Would love to see Edward R. Murrow (0+ / 0-)

    get hold of these clowns. "Good night and good luck," indeed!

  •  To je (0+ / 0-)

    PRAVDA

    Anti-War is not a protest, it's common sense.

    by Janosik on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:50:55 AM PDT

  •  It's worse than you say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Tanya

    It's not just that they're swallowing lies without the most basic fact checking.

    But they're treating the lies like scoops, because Cheney or someone will find a stooge like Judith Miller to pass it through.

    In other words: They're not just reporting lies; they're hyping them.

    •  MSM Have Specific Policy of Mideast Empire & War (0+ / 0-)

      It's formal policy with them. They're flexible everywhere else even where biased. Not on this issue, the most they'll do is criticize execution.

      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 Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:06:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It isn't news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, Tanya

    I hope the American public finally come around to the fact that what they see at 5:00-6:00pm nightly, on Sundays, etc, ecISNT news.  It's entertainment.  It's not even "info-tainment," it's just 'tainment.  It's propaganda.  That's absolutely all it is, nothing more.

    So that needs to be the meme.  There is NO NEWS anymore.  It's just marketing spiel, and phony stories to fit whatever story happens to be the sponsor's favorite.

  •  Target them with angry emails (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, Tanya

    thousands and thousands of angry emails

    start with TIM RUSSERT....demand he either resign or change the name of his sunday show to FOOL THE PRESS.

    IMPEACH THE CHEERLEADER... SAVE THE WORLD! © ®

    by KnotIookin on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:11:38 AM PDT

  •  Eliminate the AP & stop the death (murder) spiral (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martik

    The US used to manufacture widgets. The manufacturing of widgets was replaced with a generic process that enabled the outsourcing & then the offshoring of manufacturing. The US no longer has the jobs and wealth created by manufacturing.

    The US used to have a profession called Programming that created Information Technology. IT was replaced with a generic development process that enabled the outsourcing and later offshoring of programming. The US no longer has the jobs and wealth created by programming but also has lost a grasp on the ingenuity that comes when we do and cultivate a highly skilled creative activity called programming.

    The US used to have a profession called journalism. The product of creating the news was replaced with a generic process that enabled the outsourcing of the news. We no longer have the benefits of journalism...

    Journalism is not just jobs, not just widgets, not just ingenuity even...Remove the news reporting process and replace it with journalism. By law if necessary.

  •  Telejournalists... Televangelists... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tanya

     Russert looked like a kid called to carpetTim couldn't even hold eye contact with Moyers.

    "Television journalism" is over.  The ones that succeed will need guys like Moyer.  The others will need a total over-haul from the top down.  

     Journalists used to say all you've got is your name...  Television journalists sold it.

  •  Your comments re: journalism = CPA profession. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan

    I can take your comments about what has happened to the journalism profession to describe what has happened to the CPA profession, a la Enron, World Com, etc.  Ie. too many CPAs have gone from being third party investigators and advisors to advocates for their clients who end up "in bed" with client executives; willing to sell their integrity for a price.  Similar with regard to many CPAs on the corporate side, who view "ethics" as something to be side stepped, like a game of keepaway.

    My version -

    I went to [accounting] school because I thought [accounting] was about sifting through the [data] in order to [be sceptical about the information] and hold the [companies] accountable... [CPAs I know] with their six figure salaries and tell themselves that they are really Important People, what we have seen is that they are part of a new [accounting] culture that is threatening to destroy what once was a truly noble profession and undermine our [economy].

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 10:59:36 AM PDT

  •  i only saw the last few minutes (0+ / 0-)

    does anyone know when it will be rebroadacst?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 11:10:20 AM PDT

  •  Goes back to Reagan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hermitcrab

    I can't find the source, but I clearly recall reading, years back, a comment by one of the White House Press Corps. The person had been asked, "Why didn't you guys in the press give Reagan any hard questions."

    And the response? "Well, he reminded a lot of us of our grandfathers, and we just didn't have the heart to grill him."

  •  Media confused "balance" w/ "truthful" reporting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hermitcrab

    Nice diary -- especially oved the title. I do feel, though, that your diary focused on the trees, and missed the forest. The point about transcription was made strongest in the banter between Moyers and Pincus about "balance" and in the exchange with Russert that is interwoven in that segment.

    Russert implies the reason that he didn't challenge the Administration's line is that the Democrats weren't acting as an opposition party -- that this is how the system is supposed to work in this country. He says this, even as he acknowledges that most folks in politics don't really know the details on issues, since they aren't immersed in working on the specifics. That, if you want to know what's going on, you need to talk to the mid-level folks who never ever let their names get in the papers.

    Pincus points out how the Post gave up its own "truth-squadding" -- leaving it up to the Democrats. Reporting then becomes, as you note in the title, mere transcription. More to the point, it suggests that there are only two sides on an issue, and that the truth lies with one or the other. And it forces the readers to guess as to which side is right. The truth isn't partisan.

    Relying on the opposition party to provide the sound-bites to give "reporting" some balance is a poor substitute for independent reporting. If newspapers are going to do that, why even bother with "reporters"? We could have a computer program that channels C-Span, and summarizes the spin of each party.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 12:37:19 PM PDT

  •  Program should be required viewing for reporters (0+ / 0-)

    Every professional journalist should be required to watch this program -- periodically. And, each media organization should have professional education programs that expound on this to provide instruction on what constitutes real reporting -- how that differs from mere transcription of partisan spin.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 12:41:03 PM PDT

  •  What scared me (0+ / 0-)

    was how reporters ADMITTED that they were not allowed to publish anything that made Repubs look bad. A reporter in Iraq who wrote about how badly things were going and how that contradicted Bush's assertions of "progress" had those statements of fact edited out of his stories because his editors called them "opinion". And how reporters stopped their long-time practice of fact-checking presidential statements 6 months after Reagan came into office, because they were pointing out so many mistakes that they got complaints that they were "picking on Reagan". Well, hey, if the shoe fits wear it!

  •  We can fix this (0+ / 0-)

    and it's faster than you think.  

    Here's how.
    .

  •  Living Proof that (0+ / 0-)

    A free market economy will not work. It is part of the Smithan concept
    http://www.g-r-e-e-d.com/...  

    My VOTE will go for the first person to prommise to try Bush and co. for crimes against america and humanity

    by roxnev on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:20:34 PM PDT

  •  Re: Beinert (0+ / 0-)

    I have trouble with his argument that he drew his conclusions by just reading.  I'm in SW Ohio.  I'm not going to be able to do any first-hand reporting.  Reading was the only resource I had as well.  Somehow, I came to a totally different conclusion than Beinert.  The only concession I was willing to make to the many, many Republicans that surround me was that all I could hope was that the administration had information not out in the public.  Turns out there was nothing else.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

    by TracieLynn on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:59:56 PM PDT

  •  I can feel the worm turning (0+ / 0-)

    inch by inch, little by little.  All of their carefully constructed castles are getting eaten by the waves.  And the tide is still coming in my friends, our tide is still coming in.

    Every step is a victory, don't let up but take a moment to reflect how beautiful all of this is.

  •  Well Done (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. Moyers should have had you on his show, too.

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