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May 16, 2005

Newsweek Immediately Caves

-- by Dave Johnson

TPM

...a White House trying to decapitate another news organization.
AND, I might add, The Party will use Newsweek's retraction to deflect any, repeat, ANY charges concerning an atmosphere and policy of torture. Just watch. It will be like the "Dan Rather memo" incident -- which The Party used to convince the public that the "liberal" media made up the entire story of Bush shirking his National Guard duty. The actual story of Bush and the National Guard hasn't been mentioned anywhere since.

CBS was harshly, harshly criticized for trying to maintain that the essence of their story was true even if the origins of one memo were questionable. CBS didn't get that The Party was out to destroy them no matter what they did. They rolled over and appointed a Republican operative to run an "investigation" that didn't even consider the accuracy of the story. The result was that CBS is effectively destroyed. Damned because they did.

So Newsweek, thinking it was learning a lesson from CBS' holding out didn't try, rolled right over and retracted the story, even though the essence of the story was accurate. Now the entire Party propaganda apparatus is working to destroy Newsweek. Damned because they didn't.

Yesterday I blogged about a "Mallard Fillmore" comic in my local newspaper that tells readers not to trust or read newspapers. The paper continues to carry the strip - and lose readers. Maybe that's what "getting it" means in this new environment of Party ideological intimidation.

ABC is one media outlet that clearly "gets it." They refused to run United Church of Christ advertisements welcoming everyone into their church. But last week they allowed far-right Focus on the Family to run ads on their network. That is what The Party wants from the media, and that is what it will get.

Update - For press people who think they can somehow gain favor with The Party, here is an example of the Right's sentiments about the press:

The desire to promote their agendas at the expense of the truth or our safety provides a measure of comfort to our enemy, who hopes to divide us from within.
Providing "comfort to our enemy?" Let that serve as a warning about what The Party has in mind for you. Watch your backs.

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 16, 2005 6:53 PM

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Comments

Best thing I've read yet on this bullsh-t. It's disgusting. Thanks for writing about it. Only thing else I've seen that I liked was this:

In other related news, the nation's oldest newspaper, the New York Post, has announced that it will be apologizing for reporting that the Union won the Civil War while the Weather Channel has annouced that they regret all weather predictions, both the ones that they called correctly and the ones they got wrong.
http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/2005/05/newsweeks-apology.html

Posted by: Ryan at May 16, 2005 10:54 PM

Don't forget Eason Jordan.

Posted by: space at May 17, 2005 12:21 AM

I think that we have no idea what really caused the riots and this is an effort by the government to silence media reporting on the way prisoners are being treated -- i.e. terrible living conditions, torture, disrespect, and all the rest of the barbaric stuff.

Inhuman treatment is inhuman treatment, and the word WILL get out unless we kill every person we've been treating this way. The only people who WON'T know about it is the citizens of the US if the government gets its way.

In other words, I don't think this has much to do with the beliefs or lack of beliefs of the rioters. How would we know what's the basis for the riots? Somebody interviewed them? Took a poll? It's just too easy to blame Newsweek. Exactly the same things in that Newsweek story have been reported at least since January in other news media.

Posted by: MJ at May 17, 2005 6:16 AM

I think the White House is using this 'Newsweek' flap to cover up a couple stories, e.g., Bolton, the food for oil one, Bush's fixing of intelligence to advance war and the problems in Iraq, and that they are using the press to accomplish this cover up all of which is much in line with what they are doing with Moyers and the CPB. What kind of a nation will it be if they are able to close off reporting they don't like, i.e., naught but the party line?

Does Terrance Hunt of AP know he's being sorely used? The News Hour? What Jarvis of Buzzline proposed on the News Hour was unconscionable.

Posted by: ken melvin at May 17, 2005 8:33 AM

Newsweek is getting exactly what it deserves. Maybe it's getting off too easy. This is what the media invite when they frame every story from the government perspective. Newsweek did NOT inverstigate the very long-standing charges of torture, of which the Quran desecration is just a particularly explosive detail, but instead asserted that the DoD planned to acknowledge the desecration. That is NOT news. It is stenography and boot-licking. If they were journalists instead of whores of the right, they would have developed the story themselves and this obvious setup could not have been pulled on them. I think this is GREAT.

Posted by: richard at May 17, 2005 9:42 AM

This will also open up more issues for the White House. Donald Rumsfeld made a statement yesterday that the media has to be very careful about what they write. Next the White House will be suggesting what should be written, or perhaps an office of accuracy in journalism will be created by the White House to approve any articles before being published. This administration is very skilled at turning things around to their benefit.

Posted by: Ronnie at May 17, 2005 10:32 AM

The White House is already "suggesting" what should or should not be written. We have very few real investigative reporting going on and I don't see any at all being done on corporate news media. The only consistant investigative reporting I've seen on TV is coming from BBC, Free Speech TV and Link TV. I am so grateful to them for resisting the pressure from this administration and getting out the truth. Greg Palast, Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers and the rest of these brave souls deserve a medal for their "courage under fire".

Posted by: Jane Algozzini at May 17, 2005 11:48 AM

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