Aug
16
2009

From Lie to Official History, via 'Simple Repetition'

Consortium News Robert Parry (8/13/09) is citing media-promoted "'deathers' who claim that President Barack Obama's healthcare plan would promote euthanasia," along with how the U.S. "population was persuaded that Iraq was some lethal threat" and "fear-mongering about Iraq somehow sending small remote-controlled airplanes across the Atlantic" as strong arguments against "hopeful slogans that 'the truth will out.'" To Parry, "truth is a battle" and "the reality is that there are no automatic mechanisms for stopping lies and distortions": What I have seen during more than three decades in Washington is that many truths remain effectively hidden, even if technically they […]

Jul
25
2009

'Fawning Corporate Media' as 'Acrobatic Cheerleaders'

Under the succinct Consortium News subhed "Too Late the Leak" (7/24/09), former CIA analyst Ray McGovern revisits the Downing Street Minutes–which he says should represent the kind of documentary evidence after which trial lawyers, intelligence analysts–and serious investigative journalists–lust. Though the unauthorized disclosure did not come early enough to head off the war, which had started more than two years before the document surfaced, the unique disclosure could have thrown some harsh light on the war's origins–if the Fawning Corporate Media in the United States did its job. However, having been acrobatic cheerleaders for war on Iraq, the FCM did […]

Jul
06
2009

Iraq: 'Supreme' War Crime, or Simply 'Unnecessary'?

As Barack Obama and his pliant media pundits are "talking up the achievements of the six-year occupation," Consortium News' Robert Parry (7/1/09) is writing of the "public celebrations by Iraqis marking the American pullout from Iraq's cities." Parry's look back the last six years' reality clearly recalls how, "relying on false intelligence and laughable legal theories, Bush justified launching what the New York Times may call an 'unnecessary war' but what was in reality a 'war of aggression'"–constituting, Parry reminds us, "what the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II deemed 'the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes […]

Jun
28
2009

Trivial Media Maintains 'Mass of Isolated Individuals'

Spanish sociologist Pablo Ouziel has a new Consortium News essay (6/28/09) describing the consequences of how "we wake up in the morning to hear and watch the newest tragedy that has swept the world's media attention"–whether it's "the tragic crash of an airplane" or "the death of a star." Meanwhile: Serious events and acts are taking place everyday which merit serious social debate, yet because of the fact that our societies are deeply fragmented, broken and clashing between each other, we are unable to grant ourselves the necessary pause, required for conciliation and unity. Because of this, we are easy […]

Jun
18
2009

Their Election Fraud versus Ours

Robert Parry of Consortium News (6/15/09) gives hearing to a "strong case" to "undercut the widespread media assumption" of electoral fraud in Iran. But, true or not, "the rush to the 'fraud' judgment among much of the U.S. news media is shaping the political realities" and posing that "Ahmadinejad's 'theft' of the election proves that hardliners in Israel and neoconservatives in the United States were right all along about the impossibility of dealing rationally with Iran"–the predictable upshot being "that force is the only option to employ against Iran." Parry also is "curious to see U.S. news organizations care suddenly […]

Jun
02
2009

As 'Truth-Tellers' Are 'Controversialized,' Others Rise

"Amid all the recent negatives in the worlds of intelligence and journalism," Consortium News' Robert Parry (6/2/09) has spotted "one encouraging development": "the recognition of common ground between two beleaguered groups, honest U.S. intelligence analysts and honest American journalists, two groups that previously had been on opposite sides of the secrecy divide." The strangeness of which is not lost on Parry, who says that "what brought them together, ironically, was that they both were targeted by the same dishonest forces": Through the 1980s, the neocons spearheaded an assault on the CIA's analytical division by pushing a politicization of intelligence that […]

May
27
2009

Media Still Crushing on Old Flame Colin Powell

Robert Parry (Consortium News, 5/25/09) thinks that "there is no one, it seems, that the U.S. mainstream news media loves more than Colin Powell," and as proof offers "Powell's disingenuous response" to Bob Schieffer's May 24 CBS Face the Nation "question about the ex-secretary of state's knowledge regarding 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' which the International Committee of the Red Cross and virtually all other objective observers say constituted torture": Powell–whom, Parry recalls, "was a member of President George W. Bush's Principals Committee, which oversaw the interrogation policies"–claimed to an unchallenging Schieffer, "to have been kept mostly out of the loop…. He […]

May
23
2009

NYT: Ex-Prisoners 'Return' to Terrorism Never Charged

Remembering all too well how the New York Times "helped sell the Iraq War with a bogus story about aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges and withheld evidence of illegal spying on Americans for more than a year," Consortium News editor Robert Parry (5/21/09) tells how the paper "is again mishandling a sensitive story in a way that panders to the right." Pointing to a May 21 Times headline and lead "reporting that a Pentagon study has concluded that 'about one in seven of the 534 prisoners' transferred out of the Guantánamo Bay prison 'returned to terrorism or militant activity,'" Parry […]

May
17
2009

Media Silence on Pol 'Implicitly Endorsing' Inquisition

Quoting Sen. Lindsey Graham's statement at a May 13 Senate hearing that "one of the reasons these techniques have been used for about 500 years is that they work," Robert Parry (Consortium News, 5/16/09) explains that this is "implicitly endorsing the Spanish Inquisition's brutal treatment of Jews, Muslims, Protestants and other alleged heretics from the 15th to 17th centuries," and posits that "in a normal world, one might have expected national outrage over a prominent U.S. senator speaking favorably of the Spanish Inquisition, which pioneered innovations in torture… including the water torture now known as waterboarding": Beyond the inhumanity of […]

May
01
2009

The Sham That Is 'Objective' Corporate Journalism

In a Consortium News rejoinder (4/30/09) to how "mainstream U.S. news media often laments the decline of objective journalism, pointing disapprovingly at the more subjective news that comes from the Internet or from ideological programming," Robert Parry writes that one could argue that the U.S. mainstream press has inflicted the severest damage to the concept of objective journalism by routinely ignoring those principles, which demand that a reporter set aside personal prejudices (as best one can) and approach each story with a common standard of fairness. The truth is that powerful mainstream news organizations have their own sacred cows and […]

Apr
26
2009

Bush Lie Lives On as Pro-Torture Spin Point

David Swanson has noted (Consortium News, 4/23/09) that, as "much of elite U.S. punditry is backing away from torture," the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby is bucking that trend with an April 22 column in which "he both opposes torture under all circumstances and excuses it given the current circumstances." Jacoby's main justification for U.S. torture tactics are "the successes with which they have been credited"–such as "the foiling of Al-Qaeda's planned 'Second Wave'–a 9/11-like plot to crash a hijacked airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper." Swanson gives the lie to this zombie resurrected from the graveyard of Bush administration propaganda: […]

Apr
22
2009

On the Rare Journalistic Habit of 'Thinking Independently'

On the occasion of the first annual Izzy Awards from Jeff Cohen's Park Center for Independent Media, the son of progressive journalism icon I.F. Stone, Jeremy Stone (Consortium News, 4/1/09), describes Stone's most journalistically valuable quality–"his capacity for thinking independently"–along with its rewards and consequences: In the McCarthy era, because he spoke in defense of Jeffersonian principles, people were afraid to be seen with him. When he supported the rights of Palestinians, Jewish institutions would not invite him to speak. And when the National Press Club refused to serve his black guest lunch, he quit the club, isolating himself from […]

Mar
23
2009

On WaPo's 'Remarkable Class Solidarity'

Wondering at the "remarkable class solidarity" displayed by U.S. elitists, Robert Parry (Consortium News, 3/22/09) hypothesizes that "this may help explain why the Washington Post's editorial writers penned three editorials last week decrying the populist outrage over the AIG bonuses": The first editorial on March 17, entitled "Bonus Blowback," purported to share the public's outrage but came down on the side of paying the bonuses. "We hope that the president is setting the stage to do whatever it takes to answer legitimate protests about AIG without adding to the existing dangers or jeopardizing the necessary rescues of the banking sector […]