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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 12:07 AM
Original message
Dan Rather's Magnum Opus
Edited on Thu Sep-27-07 12:10 AM by WilliamPitt
Link to original: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092607A.shtml

Dan Rather's Magnum Opus
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Media is a word that has come to mean bad journalism.

- Graham Greene


His face was once a totem, a comforting TV-screen touchstone. His voice and inflection lent suppertime credence to the myth of American permanence, safety and dependability, night after night, for a quarter of a century. It is surpassingly strange, therefore, to encompass Dan Rather's recent and abrupt metamorphosis. The former "CBS Nightly News" anchor, previously a study in constancy and predictability, has suddenly become a genuine threat to the entire mainstream news industry.

Last week, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit (PDF link, Adobe Acrobat required) against CBS, its chief executive Leslie Moonves, former network president Andrew Heyward, CBS's parent company Viacom and Viacom's Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone.

The suit stems from a sensational September 2004 CBS report detailing documentary evidence of George W. Bush's poor performance during and constant absence from service in the Texas Air National Guard during the early 1970s. The report was met with an immediate chorus of scornful dismissals from Bush administration officials, Bush campaign spokespeople and right-wing bloggers that eventually cast doubt upon the authenticity of the documents. Within two weeks, CBS retreated in humiliation from the story. Rather staggered on as the "CBS Nightly News" anchor for a few more excruciating months, but finally departed on March 9, 2005.

Among the assertions in his suit, Rather claims CBS failed to provide him sufficient time and support to defend the veracity of his report, that the network essentially folded like sodden newsprint under pressure from right-wing advocates of the Bush administration, and that the entire matter permanently ravaged his professional reputation. Presumably, CBS finds Rather's public allegations disconcerting to at least some degree; their news section is already burdened by cratering viewership resulting from the Katie Couric fiasco, so the additional burden of this suit can only be another unwelcome complication in an already messy state of affairs.

The danger to the mainstream news industry in general, however, is not in the allegations themselves, but in the context surrounding them provided by a long-time insider who knows where all the bodies are buried.

Consider the first paragraph on the fourth page of the complaint. According to Rather, CBS chose to jettison both himself and the Texas Air National Guard story because, "CBS's parent company, Viacom, and it Chief Executive Officer, Sumner Redstone, considered it to be in its corporate interest to curry favor with the Bush administration."

Consider CBS's handling of a far more serious Bush administration scandal, the torture of Iraqis by American forces at Abu Ghraib prison, as described on pages 11 and 12 of the complaint. According to Rather, "Despite the story's importance, and because of the negative impact the story would have on the Bush administration, with which Viacom and CBS wished to curry favor, CBS management attempted to bury it."

"Even after obtaining nearly a dozen now notorious photographs," continues the complaint, "which made it impossible to deny the accuracy of the story, Mr. Heyward and Ms. West continued to delay the story for an additional three weeks... CBS imposed the unusual restrictions that the story would be aired only once, that it would not be preceded by on-air promotion, and that it would not be referenced on the CBS Evening News."

"What emerges here," writer Greg Sargent concludes on the Talking Points Memo blog, "is a striking portrait of a big news org that, fearful of pressure from conservative critics and eager to curry favor with the Bush administration, allegedly dragged its feet to an extraordinary degree in order to avoid revealing the truths it knew about a horrifying scandal of international dimensions. Sobering stuff."

Sobering indeed, and therein lies the threat. The willful collusion between CBS management and the Bush administration, offered by Rather to frame his accusations, illuminate an insidious, grotesque, and altogether deadly alignment of circumstances hiding in plain sight before the entire American populace. An explanation for why the legitimate fears and anxious uncertainties of the people are never soothed or clarified by mainstream news outlets like CBS, but are instead methodically aggravated and intentionally amplified by those outlets, begins to take shape in light of Rather's inside-view revelations.

(snip)

In their desire to curry favor with the Bush administration, the mainstream news media became willing accomplices to one of the most unspeakable crimes ever committed against the American people: the deliberate and strategic use and manipulation of fear by the Bush administration to increase their own power and influence.

The ordinary common sense and sound judgment of the American people was systematically attacked and debased, the psyche of the entire population was ceaselessly pummeled by a paranoid muddle of murky suspicions and nebulous fears, in order to create a population of permanently frightened and thus easily led dupes. The grisly reports of inhuman acts of torture by Americans, the undermining of the Constitution and our rights, the program of domestic surveillance, all this and so much besides, fell by the wayside because Americans became programmed by the news media to accept the unacceptable, lest they be branded as traitors or killed outright by swarming hordes of al-Qaeda/insurgent/shoe-bombers.

It will be many years before the nation recovers from this despicable onslaught, if indeed it ever does, and the mainstream news industry is exactly as guilty as the Bush administration for perpetrating this unspeakable, harmful offense. Even amid the demonstrably ruinous consequences of their behavior, the prime players of the mainstream news industry still languish like cream-glutted cats before the furnace of history, and still seek to curry favor from the Bush administration.

Nothing could be more dangerous to their conniving complacency than the exposure of their voluntary collusion in the promulgation of mortal lies and lethal hyperbole. Conversely, nothing could be more beneficial to the health and security of America and its citizens than exposing the sham passing itself off as "journalism," exposing what was so deliberately done to them, and exposing the grim truth that almost everything they've heard from their government and their news media has been a rank, rancid, self-serving pile of lies designed to imprison their minds and control their behavior.

Because he willingly participated in this for many years, Dan Rather cannot be considered some sort of saint or martyr. But it was that very participation which informs his lawsuit, and because he is now divulging what he came to know through his complicity, Rather is a true menace as far as the mainstream news industry is concerned. This is his final broadcast of sorts, his magnum opus in 32 pages, a parting jolt of desperately needed journalism, one last story filed to report the truth about what journalism has become.

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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Dan Rather is Paul Revere
crying out to let us know that the British are coming, combined with Charlton Heston telling us that Soylent Green is people.

Trouble ahead, trouble behind.

K&R.
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azygous Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. "A Burnt Out Case"
Dan Rather seems more like a character right out of a Graham Green novel where a completely ignominious character spectacularly redeems himself in the end. At least let's hope he does.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. You are kidding of course. or you might be on the wrong blog?
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
2. America is finally ready to hear Dan Rather's story. (eom)
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. LOVE the "cream-glutted cats" line. Hey,
did you catch Rather's cameo on "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC)? -- flipping through the channels I caught him tonight and, chuckling to myself, thought, what a good menace he is now.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 04:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. Odd, that this post has 11 rec's and no comment. So I will comment.
Mr. Pitt points out a fascinating development: Dan Rather, in his old age, getting PISSED OFF. Really pissed off! It is a wonder to behold. I wish we had more like him--insiders who want to vomit at what journalism has become, and what our government has become, and who at last stand up to be counted.

It must have been crushing to Rather--the sting that was perpetrated against him: one of the Bush/AWOL papers, among many, re-typed on a later model machine, a paper which the original secretary of the document vouched was true as to its contents (just typed differently), and CBS (whom I have little doubt was in on the sting*) caves, the Rovian sting succeeds and Bush's AWOL is buried in the controversy about the re-typed paper, and Rather, the linchpin of CBS News for many decades, loses his job--and Bush doesn't lose his.

Rather could have understandably retired, and written a couple of books, and had a nice peaceful old age. But no, he takes Dan Rather Reports to www.HD.net, where he fries the election theft corporations with the most important investigative news report in our history ("The Trouble With Touchscreens"), and goes on to sue the fuckers who fired him for injustice, malfeasance, kissing the butt of a fascist government and lying.

Wow!

Thank you, William Rivers Pitt, for highlighting this remarkable story!

There is one thing to be said for the Bush Junta--it DOES create heroes, inadvertently to be sure, but never have there been so many opportunities to rise above comfort and career, to defy prudence and ass-covering, and to display real moral courage, as have arisen over the last seven years, and never have we seen this MANY heroes rise to the challenge, from officers like Lt. Ehren Mejia who refused to return to the immoral and unlawful Iraq War at the price of military imprisonment and loss of career, to military jag lawyers who have fought against Guantanamo Bay and torture, and been demoted, to FBI/DoJ insiders like Sibel Edmonds and James Comey, who have blown the whistle on widespread criminality, to the very courageous young man (can't recall his name) who took the Abu Ghraib torture photos to the military police, to Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame and David Kelly, who blew the whistle on the prewar lies about WMDs, to leftist bloggers who have taken up journalism to fill the black hole in the news media--real truthtellers like Will Pitt and Brad Friedman--to people like TIA who have sacrificed their time and health to get the word out on stolen elections and our fraudulent election system, to thousands of ordinary people who risk abuse, hardship and prison to protest the war, or devote time they don't have to passionate anti-war and election reform advocacy...so many. I've barely grazed the top of this mountain. There are many more.

To this stellar group of real heroes and patriots we now add Dan Rather, a man who "got mad as hell and couldn't take it anymore."

You want real journalism? Check out the Dan Rather Reports at www.HD.net . You won't be disappointed.

---------------------------

A couple of points in the article:

*My suspicious about CBS. The reason that I easily suspect them of actually being in collusion on the sting is that they were in collusion with the other corporate news monopolies when their consortium exit pollster, Edison-Mitofsky DOCTORED the exit polls (Kerry won) late in the day on 11/2/04, to FORCE them to FIT the results of Diebold/ES&S's "trade secret" vote counting formulae (Bush won). If they would do THAT, they would do anything. I don't believe that American voters were swayed by Karl Rove's bullshit--whether his sting to bury Bush's AWOL, or his "gay marriage" tripe, or his Kerry "flip-flopping" tripe, or the "Swiftboaters"' lies, or the numerous "terra alerts" that everybody was laughing about, by the time of the election, or any of it. I believe it was all a pre-written narrative for Stolen Election II. People were flocking to the Democratic party in record numbers to oust Bush. The Democratic grass roots blew the Bushites away in new voter registration, nearly 60/40, in 2004! Where did all those votes go? There is simply overwhelming evidence that the vote was fiddled. So what all these fascist corporatists were doing was pushing a PLAUSIBLE narrative of how Bush/Cheney COULD HAVE won, not how they did win. And burying the AWOL story--which was in fact a TRUE story--was just one element of keeping that narrative believable enough to prevent a revolution.

Which brings me to Will's discussion of the impact of these war profiteering corporate news monopolies on the American people. We can plainly see what their intentions are--to create a brainwashed, stupified, powerless, demoralized populace, all the better to rob them blind and destroy American democracy forevermore, as a potential force against global corporate predators. But have they succeeded? Look at the polls! They have convinced the American people of NOTHING. SEVENTY PERCENT of the American people now oppose their goddamned war--a truly amazing and epochal antiwar majority, up from the significant majority--56%!--who opposed it from the beginning (in Feb. '03). When you look at the issues polls over the last several years (since before the 2004 election), you find huge opposition among the American people to every Bush policy, foreign and domestic, way up in the 60% to 90% range. Their propaganda has FAILED. That is, in fact, WHY they had to devise an election system run on TRADE SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit/recount controls--and had to fast-track it into place, between 2002 and 2004, under the radar of the American people--with an "Iron Curtain" over all news about this system and its egregious vulnerability to insider rigging.

The American people can be faulted for their lack of vigilance over their election system, but, really, they didn't have a chance against it. Why? Because our own goddamned collusive, corrupt or very frightened DEMOCRATIC Party leaders not only didn't warn people about it, they all voted FOR it, supported it, and FORBADE any talk about is fraudulent results.

But now that the American people ARE finding out about it, mostly by word of mouth (and the internet), an awesome grass roots movement is on the rise to fight it. Very difficult battles are being fought against it all over the country. You don't hear much about them--unless you visit the DU Election Forum--but these activists are among the greatest heroes of our age. Ordinary people, who never thought they would have to do this--devote two or three years of their lives, 24/7, and possibly the rest of their lives, to retrieving our right to vote.

People KNOW something is wrong. They DON'T BELIEVE the crap they see/hear in all the media. Some are mystified as to why our democracy is not working--why it is not correcting itself, why they vote and nothing happens, why, with 70% of the people against the war, a supposed 'Democratic' Congress ESCALATES the war--but more and more, people are realizing that the problem is the riggable machines. Of course it is not the only problem. But it is the one thing we MUST reverse, in order to BEGIN reforming and saving this country.

So I just wanted to speak up for the American people. Will Pitt paints a pretty grim picture of what the corporate news monopolies INTEND. He doesn't stress enough how they have failed. WE are the majority--the peace-minded, justice-minded Americans. It has never been otherwise. It is the only propaganda victory of these fascists, that they have been able to convince so many people that this great, peace-minded, justice-minded, progressive American majority is the minority. It is not true. And they have switched and disappeared our votes--and filled our public airwaves with rightwing assholes--to make it SEEM true.

Dan Rather NAILS the election theft story in "The Trouble with Touchscreens." He reveals things that even I didn't know, and I'm well-versed on the election system. He does not speak to the purpose for which this election theft system was put into place, but what he reveals is the vast corruption of the election theft corporations, going back to the 2000 election, when they DELIBERATELY printed the punchcard ballots for Democratic areas of Florida on inferior paper, so as to PRODUCE "hanging chads." He interviews the employees who were ordered to destroy the evidence. He questions the "trade secret" code. And he shows where ES&S election theft machines are manufactured--in miserable sweatshops in the Philippines, with no quality controls. He exposes this filthy, democracy-killing business for what it is: predatory capitalism gone mad.

Dan Rather, transformed. Kudos and laurel wreaths to him! Whatever he was before, he is not that now. He is a REAL journalist now! And, boy, is he pissed!



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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. An excellent post PP! n/t
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. BTW since you bring up the subject of the typewriter
In 1972 while working at Foote Cone And Belding I was provided with a state of the art typewriter called an IBM Mag Card typewriter.


I thought when this story originally broke that my memory was faulty. I clearly remembered taking courses at IBM headquarters in order to learn how to operate the machine.

Through those courses I learned how to do superscript and various other fancy things that were first of a kind for a typewriter.

This would have been several months before anyone would have been typing up any AWOL reports on George W over at the Rangers Headquarters.

Although the machine was pricey, it was not beyond what a military office might purchase - the military always has lots of money to purchase things, even office equipment.

Because of thinking it was my memory that was faulty and not that CBS was being dishonest in describing that Rather and Mapes made the whole thing up, I spent some time online and found a virtual typewriter museum. I contacted the owner of that museum and he gave me assurance that the IBM Mag card could indeed do all of the things that CBS was perjurying itself by claiming "no machine of that time had those capabilities."

Also another fact to consider - Mapes spent over five years exploring the Bush AWOL story. Five years. CBS repeatedly framed her work as though it was something thrown together at the last minute for the purpose of destroying Bush. That is patently not true.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. I should have said that the document was apparently re-typed, because you are right--
it has not been proven that it was. There has not been any thorough investigation of this--just a lot of speculation to the point of debunking a story that was actually true (Bush went AWOL). The original secretary vouched for the CONTENT of the document, but didn't recognize the document form. (His signature, however, was verified.) She said it was what her boss certainly believed. So, one explanation may well be that her boss got hold of the IBM typewriter in another office, or had one at home, and, for some reason, typed it himself. Also, as Mary Mapes has said, why would anyone FAKE a document that was telling the truth? The only reason could be to discredit an otherwise true story. The key to which explanation makes more sense--her Nat'l Guard boss typing the thing up himself on one of those new (at that time) IBM typewriters, or a sting operation to discredit the report--is the Freepers' instant reaction in the form of "discovering" the "re-typing." That favors a theory of re-typing for ill purposes--although there could have been a "mole" on the CBS team, or in the chain of custody of the documents, who alerted Rove to the difference in type, and how they could try to use that to discredit the story--when the type was in truth different for a legit reason (--that Bush's Nat'l Guard commander--and the secretary's boss--typed it himself on another typewriter, with the superscript capability).

Anyway, thanks for the info!
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. I was in the TN National Guard in 1975, and we had IBM Selectrics
that were capable of doing Superscript and Subscript. Also, in the document some of the numbers were superscripted and some were not. If it were a word processing program, it would have automatically superscripted all. On the IBM's you had to do superscript manually. so the document looked like it was typed on an IBM not a word processor.
I kept screaming this over and over here and on otherblogs, but no one paid any attention to me.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Johnaries, this would also point to an inexperienced user--say a commander
(who, I'm sure, didn't do much of their own typing, and likely didn't get secretarial training for fancy new machines, or wouldn't have much practice at it). I'm remembering this now--I think I may have come across your "scream" somewhere, back during this controversy. I remember someone making the point about the inconsistent use of the superscript, and that it couldn't have been word processed on a computer. This supports the theory that the Nat'l Guard commander found a machine and typed it himself, perhaps because it was a highly sensitive, political matter.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. k+r
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
6. This story must become "big" enough to breakthrough the
broadcast ceiling..

This information will not filter into the livingrooms of the uninformed disinterested until it is such "common knowledge" here and around the internet that it allows Jay Leno to crack wise.

When people are laughing at TV News on "late night", we are winning. And not until.
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bagrman Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. The Media reporting on itself , can't see it, It would
be a matter of admitting they helped destroy America's constitution and helped install the dictators our representatives have become. I just got back from a trip to Illinois, homes in Oregon, While I was there I asked a few, what I thought, knowledgeable people what they thought of the Nukes being flown from Airbase to Airbase. They hadn't heard a word of it. My Uncle who was a full Colonel retired, just about dropped his dentures. So to think that this is going to show up within MSM, Nope, ain't going to happen.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. I wonder if Keith Olbermann would take to the air waves with this?
He's fearless, you know. And he's moving up in the ratings! :loveya:

:kick: & rec.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
8. Hopefully, this final broadcast or magnum opus can return the ghost
Edited on Thu Sep-27-07 07:04 AM by mmonk
of real journalism and Murrow. Godspeed Dan Rather.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. Excellent, but you forgot to mention the media's assistance in outing an undercover CIA operation.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. This law suit will expose all the media
conglomerates. Bravo Dan Rather.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
13. But will anybody know about it, if the cream gutted cats don't want them to?
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
14. He ended his last broadcast espousing courage.
He's found it.
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bring_em_home_bush Donating Member (263 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
16. K&R n/t
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
18. .
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
20. Dan Does Impeachment
That's what this is. Impeachment of CBS.

Whatever the outcome, even if it goes no further, Rather has acquitted himself -- to himself and to his Fellow Americans.

That is what our DC-Dem "leadership" is failing to do. They are playing the role of Redstone, Moonves, and Heyward in the much larger story.

Failure to impeach is complicity -- approval -- exoneration for the regime.

Not even the war(s) are of such magnitude.

We allow it at our peril.

--

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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
21. K&R. (nt)
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jazzjunkysue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
22. Great read, the complaint. Direct accusation that the white house
threatened CBS into pulling anything fragrant about the chimp. The board of directors and CEO stated plainy at a board meeting not to make the emperor look bad.

Just more librul media bias, again!
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LaStrega Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. k + r n/t
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
25. Thou shalt not lie
Why do we even bother to try and be moral? Thou shalt not bear false witness. Why do people in authority over us get to skip the national guard to screw around on political campaigns, get to lie about it and then trash the person who fingers them? How does the GOP get away with pretending to be the moral high-grounders. Is there not one honest one among them? Is there? I wish my parents had taught me how to lie. I think if parents force their children to be honest and not lie in this day and age you are doing them a disservice. Lying is the way to the top. But if no one is getting a blowjob in the moral landscape it is OK to have the President demonstrate dishonesty and moral ineptitude. I say this because there was such an outcry over Bill's problem exposing little children to salacious details. What about the little children now? Look at Larry Craig lie his ass off. About what? What do little children think he was tapping, shave and hair cut, for in the bathroom stall? Sorry to get off on a senseless rant but I'm so sick and tired of the light bearers being given a hatchet job.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-27-07 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
27. Once again,
interesting times...

Thanks Will.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
28. About NBC...
The reason I am not writing much about NBC is that they are not aligned with the Bush administration, and I suspect that they never have been, not really, though Jack Welch probably was. In the early days of the war, they were just as Mr. Pitt describes them, eager to please the Pentagon by supporting the war. Their parent company, General Electric has close financial ties to the Pentagon and the military, and it functions a lot like a mouthpiece for the military. If the army needed a drum of war beaten, GE/NBC was going to do it. And enjoy it.

NBC is also different from the other news media outlets, because it is tied to a huge manufacturer, rather than a huge media conglomerate. This means it is difficult for the Bush FCC to play carrot/stick games with it. There is not much that the FCC can offer NBC/MSNBC/Mewsweek. The real bucks come from GE. There isn't much that the FCC can do to hurt NBC either, for the same reason. The most important issues are not how much market share NBC can have or how many broadband connections it can scarf up. GE/NBC has concerns that are unique to it as a manufacturing empire. Among these are

1. The strength and well being of the US Military. Note that when it became clear in the winter of 2004-5 that Cheney wanted to invade Iran, MSNBC assembled an emergency panel including uber-conservative isolationist Pat Buchanan to denounce the plan as the road to ruin. For two and half years MSNBC has stood firm every time the WH has attempted to trick the nation into an Iran War. Why? Because the Pentagon does not want it. MSNBC has also become the advocate for withdrawal from Iraq and the spokesperson for all the neglected soldiers and a mouthpiece for dissident military brass who otherwise would not find a national TV news willing to give then airtime, CNN, FOX, ABC and CBS being firmly under the administration's thumb.

2. Outrage over the continued high price of oil. This harms so many sectors of the economy, including the manufacturing. Transportation, agriculture, people's ability to buy products--all are affected by the imbalance in the economy which Bush-Cheney have deliberately created to benefit their Saudi Masters and their buddies in the oil business.

3. Outrage over the GOP's attack on our immigrant work force. The manufacturing sector does not want to lose its workers. All those military contracts can't be outsourced. GE needs immigrant labor.

And then there is this---while the other news networks are short sightedly trying to make money through mergers and using their news networks to curry favor with the FCC and Bush, NBC and Co. are attempting to rise to top of the ratings by giving the consumers quality product. This is a great opportunity for them. Katie Couric is killing CBS. The Path to 9/11 did so much harm to ABC. CNN's bias became obvious years ago. FOX is a joke.

Now, as long as one news network is really trying, journalists at the other news networks will really try, too. They can not help it. They are stars. They don't want to look bad. They want fame and adulation like Keith Olbermann! So, a single chink in the media wall of silence causes a ripple effect that brings the whole thing tumbling down. Also, Terra political campaigns of the type that Rove foolishly planned for the 2006 elections do not work if even a single news network is rogue, because knowledge alleviates fear, and all it takes to disseminate knowledge is one network spreading the truth.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. That was interesting!
Thanks, McCamy!

This gives this jaded mind..a ray of hope..

"And then there is this---while the other news networks are short sightedly trying to make money through mergers and using their news networks to curry favor with the FCC and Bush, NBC and Co. are attempting to rise to top of the ratings by giving the consumers quality product. This is a great opportunity for them. Katie Couric is killing CBS. The Path to 9/11 did so much harm to ABC. CNN's bias became obvious years ago. FOX is a joke."
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Psyop Samurai Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Interesting perspective...
I'll look into your journal and put it in my "media" bookmarks.

Thanks.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
31. Redstone Had Money On Currying Favor With The Booosh Regime
Redstone had billions riding on a booosh victory in '04...or so he thought. Viacom had already purchased additional stations and put them in "deep freeze" through Limited Marketing Arangements pending the FCC approving a new round of "deregulation". In June, 2003, the FCC voted to approve that dereg that would have allowed Viacom and other big corporate from owning more than one television station in major markets...greatly increasing the companies revenues and giving it further control on the finite number of licenses available. While McCain and the NRA helped prevent this dereg from moving forward, the booosh regime was solidly behind "dereg" while Kerry was firmly against it. Had Kerry won, Viacom would have been forced to sell off these additional properties that would have resulted in the loss of billions for the company. While the bill never passed, the LMA laws are still in place that allows Viacom to control these stations (many are CW affiliates). The big fear in the corporate broadcast world is a Democratic victory assures that the dereg bill would die completely or, even worse, the LMA agreements would be declared illegal that would also force Viacom to unload billions in broadcast properties.

Ironically, another company that followed this lead was the Tribune Company who also went on a big buying spree and ended up overspending on these properties with little to show for it. This was a major reason the company is now being disolved with Sam Zell picking up most of their properties and forcing the Trib to sell its beloved Chicago Cubbies.

Hopefully Rather will follow the money.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-29-07 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. So many newspaper readers have no idea of how
VAst and interconnected the empires of newsprint really are.

It is funny - on a car oddysey some eyarsa go, I hit a lot of little towns between San Francisco and Mid Oregon coast, and all the little independents, dozens of them, you would buy for a quarter were critical of Bush I - but all the daily newspapers owned by large media seemed to think that he was perfect.

Following the money and the large media need to merge and finalize deals is the only way to make sense of why the "top reporters" don't want to say what is obvious to almost everyone else.
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Psyop Samurai Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-28-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
32. Great piece !!
The media IS and HAS BEEN the story, and the Rather case is like the first ray of sun in an impenetrable darkness.

Your edit cut out what (for me) is the key revelation of our entire collective nightmare:
This is not called censorship or suppression or collusion or treason in the offices where such decisions are made. This is called sound business practice.


That is the sobering truth which has taken me years to understand, and which still escapes the understanding of millions of ordinary Americans with an ordinary, functioning moral compass. It simply is inconceivable that an entire class of people would collude in anything so monstrous for their own selfish purposes, and therefor, it can't be true.

Now, such misapprehension can be vanquished in time, but ignorance and gullibility are only PART of the problem. For many of those aware, or who become aware, an insidious psychological mechanism kicks in that says essentially, "oh, it's always been this way"; "there's nothing can be done"; and, "it's human nature".

LIKE HELL it's "human nature". LIKE HELL there's nothing can be done. You start by calling a liar a LIAR, and you hold them accountable for the consequences of those lies.

But yes - in those offices, there is no treason (nor is there fraud, murder, grand theft, conspiracy, genocide, etc.), there is only "business".
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