|Melançon Enterprises||BMM Publishing Company Take on the News||UPDATED 2003 August 24|
Take on the News
2003 September 17, Wednesday
In this weeks Newsweek a short news item has a throwaway opening line that helps explain the famously misinformed United States citizenry. As Christopher Lydon wrote in his blog, if 60% of New Yorkers thought Martha Stewart was the Mets shortstop, the New York Times would run articles on this, questioning how this mass delusion could happen and perhaps even examining if the Times had a role in allowing an obvious fallacy to become so widespread. Well, a poll suggests 70% of people in the U.S. think Saddam Huissein was involved in the 2001 September 11 attacks, and Newsweeks responsibility is there in that opening: While debate rages over whether Saddam Huissein had links to Al Queada...
There isnt any debate to rage, because the Bush regime officials who imply that there is a connection (including Bushs constant use of 9-11 as the justification for war in Iraq) back off if ever pressed about a connection they seem to have some shame about racking up a big total number of lies. (This is largely theoretical, because I do not know that any member of the press ever has pursued this line of questioning). There is actually some evidence, and probably more debate (from the far left and the far right, who get on the radio) that Bush might be connected to the attacks (Bush-bin Laden family investments, the U.S.-Saudi connections and the Saudi-Usama bin Laden connections, CIA agents reportedly had pre-9/11 contact with Usama bin Laden which they did not use to kill him, etc.). Im not saying there is much evidence or persuasive evidence, just that there is some evidence, which would seem to be a bare minimum for a major news magazine to state that debate rages, as opposed to no evidence as in Huisseins case (not claims shown to be false).
Also in Newsweek the article on the music industry suing file sharers discussed the public relations implications, rather than the fact, of the industry suing a 12-year-old, urban poor, honor-roll girl (youll be relieved to know that a quick settlement and an admission of wrongdoing from her family minimized the P.R. fallout).
And in a desperately needed article on children under 5 dying of poverty at the rate of 21 million a year, the author says that despite rhetoric, little has been done (or something to that effect). I would change that to: perhaps because news outlets usually accept the rhetoric of the Bush administration without verifying it, announced health initiatives are not fully funded.
Recommended updated 9-11 memorial bumper sticker:
UNITED WE SIT GUZZLING GAS IN GRIDLOCK TRAFFIC LETTING OUR LYING LEADERS SEND OUR KIDS TO KILL AND TO DIE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN AND ANYWHERE THAT WILL MAKE THE RICH PRESIDENT AND HIS RICH FAMILY AND HIS RICH FRIENDS AND ALL RICH PEOPLE OVER-INVESTED IN OIL RICHER AND RICHER AND RICHER
Ever since I heard part of a marathon of Johnny Cash anti-war songs and statements on the radio when you didnt hear anything antiwar on the radio, my respect for him as a singer and songwriter has spread and expanded to Johnny Cash as a public figure, human being, even activist. Lets try to honor his memory by matching his personal philosophy from his 1971 song Man In Black.
Given the course of the postwar situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, it may not be too hard to defeat George Bush in the election of 2004. But whoever replaces him will have to deal with the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, our empire of bases, and a fifty-year-old tradition of not telling the public what our military establishment costs and the devastation it can inflict. History teaches us that the capacity for things to get worse is limitless. Roman history suggests that the short, happy life of the American republic is in serious trouble -- and that conversion to a military empire is, to say the least, not the best answer.
From an article on the end of the Roman Republic and the United States today by Chalmers Johnson.
2003 August 24, Sunday morning: Colin Powell is a shriveled and torn fig leaf which no longer hides the oozing sores and dying flesh that are Bushs international and relations racial-economic policies. I wrote this, finally, while reading about Powell seeking UN help in Iraq.