Sunday, May 28, 2006

We Have Been Lied To ...

... for a long time by the traditional corporate-
owned media.
No surprise.

But here we can see that the entire media landscape has been tilted to the right.

Way tilted.
As in propaganda!

Consider the last two presidents. Bill Clinton faced near-constant media obsession with his "scandals," while George W. Bush has gotten off comparatively easy.

Even many members of the media have stopped contesting this painfully obvious point, instead offering dubious justifications. Bill Clinton's "scandals" made for better stories than George Bush's, we are told, because they were simpler and easier for readers and viewers to understand. "Sex sells," while George Bush's false claims about Iraq are much harder to explain.

This excuse is simply nonsense.

First, what's so hard to understand about this? George Bush and his administration systematically distorted available intelligence to lead the nation to war on false pretenses. His administration has been marked by corruption, incompetence, lies, secrecy, and flagrant disregard for bedrock constitutional principles. None of that can be too complicated: Polls suggest that the majority of Americans believe all of those things.

Second, even if it were true that Clinton's "scandals" were easier for consumers of news to understand, the ease of explaining an affair would, if we had a serious and functional news media, be more than offset by the far greater importance of Bush's misdeeds.

Finally, this is such a grotesque distortion of the media's treatment of Clinton that it is difficult to explain by anything other than outright dishonesty. Reporters who offer the excuse that they and their colleagues covered Clinton "scandals" so much because sex sells, and is easily explained and understood, are cherry-picking. They are ignoring the obsessive coverage they gave to Clinton "scandals" that had nothing to do with sex, and that were not widely understood.

They are ignoring, for example, years of coverage of Whitewater, an obscure land deal in which the Clintons lost money and that was investigated by multiple independent counsels, congressional committees, federal agencies, and every news organization in the country -- none of which found any wrongdoing by the Clintons. Whitewater had nothing to do with sex, and nobody understood it -- probably because there was nothing to understand. And that's not even going into Travelgate, Filegate, Vince Foster's suicide, or the myriad other "scandals" the media covered that did not involve sex.

Eric Boehlert, author of the excellent new book Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, May 2006), has offered one example of the obsessive coverage the media gave Whitewater:

In the 24 months between Jan. 1994 and Jan. 1996, long before Monica Lewinsky entered the picture and back when Whitewater was about an alleged crooked land deal, Nightline devoted 19 programs to the then-unfolding scandal and investigation, for which no Clinton White House official was ever indicted.

And that's how it was for eight years: obsessive media coverage and hype of made-up Clinton "scandals" that never went anywhere because they never existed anywhere other than the fevered imaginations of a few far-right Clinton-haters and the credulous news media that took them seriously.

How bad did it get? As we're fond of pointing out, the Washington Post editorial board called for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate Whitewater "even though -- and this should be stressed -- there has been no credible charge in this case that either the president or Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong." That's right: The Post called for an independent counsel to investigate "no credible charge."

Boehlert offered a comparison to the Bush era:

But during the 24 months between Sept. 2003 and Sept. 2005, Nightline set aside just three programs to the unfolding CIA leak investigation, for which Libby, an assistant to the president, was indicted. On the night of the Libby indictments, Nightline devoted just five percent of its program to that topic.

And that's pretty much how things have been for the past five years: Clear, conclusive evidence exists that Bush and his administration have committed countless transgressions far more serious than whatever it is reporters thought Bill Clinton might have done. And it has received far less coverage than Clinton's non-scandals.

Mr. Jamison Foser's article at Media Matters hits this nail squarely on the head and puts the lie to the notion that the media is/has been even-handed or "fair and balanced".

They are fascist propagandist liars.
They have wielded the sword of freedom of the press against the value of the truth and the mission of journalism.

They have been the deliberate enablers of the Bushites' monarchist regime.
They lie.

Media Matters is a masterful resource for debunking the republican propaganda machine from its disguise as the "Free Press".

Be informed, but be forewarned.

No comments:

Post a Comment