....LMB: "Historical Re-Revisionism"....

August 11, 2003

Last week, Al Gore gave a surprisingly decent speech in which he (among other things) implied that the Bush administration "gave false impressions" about a number of things which would make Americans supportive of a war in Iraq. Conservative pundits then apparently saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone: smear Gore and support the Iraq war. By attacking Gore's claims, they could brand him a lying trickster, and by pretending that the warhawks hadn't made half of the wacky accusations that they did in fact make, they could deflect criticism about the Iraq war.

The most egregious attempt was when pundit Fred Barnes actually tried to claim that George W. Bush had never claimed that there were links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, but in fact that Bush had "consistently" said "exactly the opposite!"

So before this goes too far, let's make sure that everyone bookmarks this page. It's a pretty extensive list of quotes from Bush administration officials about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorism. They say quite clearly on numerous occasions that there are links between Saddam and al Qaeda, that Iraq has a nuclear program, that it can deploy chemical weapons, etc.

And while we're at it, let's link to this Washington Post article which outlines "a pattern in which President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their subordinates -- in public and behind the scenes -- made allegations depicting Iraq's nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support."

And this AP article debunking Colin Powell's UN presentation.

Again, the bottom line here is that the Bush administration, for a variety of reasons, decided to invade Iraq and then formed a massive PR campaign to convince foreign leaders, Congress, and the American people that there was a good reason to do so. Debating whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or whether or not Saddam Hussein had ties to Osama bin Laden is to allow yourself to be sidetracked.

Posted by Jake at 11:28 PM | TrackBack (0)
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And here's a debunkment of the Colin Powell "debunkment".

http://junkyardblog.transfinitum.net/archives/week_2003_08_10.html#002347

Posted by: SaveFarris at August 12, 2003 01:39 PM

Question is one of strategy then. The constant pounding on the WMD and Terrorism issue provides the stress required, but a wedge is needed to pierce the toughened skin so it splits like a grape. I think the size o' the deficit and government - both record under Bush - as well as the record amount of regulation is an excellent wedge between the "fiscal conservatives" and these right wing wackos. The civil libertarians are equally horrified by the Theological Jack Booted Thugs of Ashcroft as well as the whole Evangelical Christian alliance. That's another wedge we should be pushing hard on. Cracks are forming. . .

Posted by: John at August 12, 2003 05:48 PM

"Debating whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or whether or not Saddam Hussein had ties to Osama bin Laden is to allow yourself to be sidetracked."

Jake, I love you man. So how is it that the entire friggin mainstrean media - including the Washington Post (who reported extensively on the on the process and timing of Bush's decision to invade, well before the fall of '02) - misses that point? A clothing for the emporer media moment?

By the way the junkyardblog didn't debunk anything. It simply tried to discredit the author - a typical neocon argument, i.e., none.

Posted by: shep at August 13, 2003 12:06 PM
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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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