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Eric Alterman: Bush & the media "Together in Never Never Land"

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 04:12 PM
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Eric Alterman: Bush & the media "Together in Never Never Land"

Think Again: Together in Never Never Land

by Eric Alterman
March 23, 2006


(As Newsweek reported) A bitterly divided electorate gives President George W. Bush an approval rating of only 36 percent in the latest NEWSWEEK poll, matching the low point in his presidency recorded last November. His image as an effective leader in the war on terror is tarnished, with less than half the public (44 percent) approving of the way hes handling terrorism and homeland security. Despite a series of presidential speeches meant to bolster support for the war in Iraq, as well as the announcement of a major military offensive when the poll was getting under way, only 29 percent of the people questioned approved Bushs handling of the situation in Iraq. Fully 65 percent disapprove.

And yet, despite this intense skepticism on the part of everyday people, reporters continue to exist in Bushs Never Never Land. None, for instance saw fit to call him on his lies not spin, in this case, but lies on Tuesday. For example, everyone present, including the reporters and editors who wrote about it afterward, ignored the presidents contention that, We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.

In fact, as the rest of the world knows, the inspectors were actually already in Iraq, and finding nothing, when George W. Bush himself decided to kick them out in order to launch his catastrophic war. What I said about farce above applies here since this is the second time this has happened. Bush made exactly this false claim before in July 2003, and Dana Milbank and Dana Priest reprinted it in the Washington Post. In a meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush proclaimed, e gave a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldnt let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power. Milbank and Priests story soft-pedaled the lie, writing that the presidents claim appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring: Hussein had, in fact, admitted the inspectors and Bush had opposed extending their work because he did not believe them effective. A few days later, Milbank shrugged off the presidents claim to the Posts Howie Kurtz, saying, I think what people basically decided was this is just the president being the president. He is under a great deal of pressure. Since virtually every president might honestly be said to be under a great deal of pressure, Milbank is offering what amounts to a license to lie.

This attitude helps to explain the air of unreality that appears to engulf almost all discussions of Iraq and the horrific situation Bush and company have wrought there. For instance the Washington Post editorial board argued HERE that the president was considerably more effective in explaining and defending his commitment to the war ... he sounded authentic. One would think that after three full years of failure, incompetence, and dishonesty, sounded authentic is damn faint praise indeed.


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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 04:27 PM
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1. Tell everyone you know!
The media is covering and here is your example!
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-23-06 04:35 PM
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2. Never mind
Edited on Thu Mar-23-06 04:41 PM by kenny blankenship
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