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PuPP's Theories Forum > GENERAL DISCUSSION > U.S. News Media Can Legally Lie To You


Posted by: ArchAngel Jun 20 2004, 02:54 PM
QUOTE
APPEALS COURT REVERSES JURY IN "AKRE V FOX TV" CASE:
Court Condones Media Lies, in Spite of FCC Policy Against "News Distortion"
QUOTE
Accepting a defense rejected by three other Florida state judges in at least six separate motions, a Florida appeals court has reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.

In a six-page written decision released February 14, the court essentially ruled the journalist never stated a valid whistle-blower claim because, they ruled, it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

In the lawsuit filed in 1998, Akre claimed she was wrongfully terminated for threatening to blow the whistle to the FCC. After a five-week trial that ended August 18, 2000, a six-person jury was unanimous in its conclusion that she was indeed fired for threatening report the station's pressure to broadcast what jurors decided was "a false, distorted, or slanted" story about the widespread use of growth hormone in dairy cows.

In overturning the jury on what amounts to a legal technicality, the court did not dispute the heart of Akre's claim, that Fox pressured her to broadcast a false story to protect the broadcaster from having to defend the truth in court, as well as suffer the ire of irate advertisers. Nonetheless, the station aired a report in wake of the ruling saying it was "totally vindicated" by the verdict.

The "threshold issue," the court wrote -- and all it ruled upon -- was whether the technical qualifications for a whistleblower claim were ever met by Akre. In Florida, to file such a claim, the employer misconduct must be a violation of an adopted law, rule or regulation. Fox argued from the first -- and repeatedly failed in front of three different judges -- to have the case tossed out on the grounds there is no hard, fast, and written rule against deliberate distortion of the news.

In essence, the news organization owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to even lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves. In it's opinion, the Court of Appeal held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation.

The court let stand without comment the jury verdict that awarded nothing to Steve Wilson, Akre's husband and co-plaintiff in the case. He aggressively represented himself at trial, paving the way for Fox attorneys to suggest he was as aggressive in the newsroom as he was in the courtroom and perhaps that was why he was fired.

See the ruling at:
http://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2014,%202003/2D01-529.pdf
AP story at:
http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/democrat/news/local/5193231.htm

Posted by: Mark Jun 21 2004, 12:37 AM
QUOTE
[...]they ruled, it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.


The US tv news media can deliberately lie or distort the news to us and nothing can be done about it with the current laws.

I suggest we need some new laws.


Posted by: LaughingWolf Jun 21 2004, 02:46 AM
http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq32.html


Why The Media Lies
The Corporate Structure of The Mass Media

*A long read but well worth the time. One of the most informative sites I have encountered about 'manufacturing consent' and the media monopoly*


Posted by: crisrose Jun 21 2004, 07:53 PM
QUOTE
Media Cover-up
QUOTE
Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press
This is a two-page summary of fascinating accounts by 18 award-winning journalists from the book "Into the Buzzsaw", edited by Kristina Borjesson.

All of these writers were prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting major, incredibly revealing news. Some were even fired or laid off. These journalists have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer. Help create a better world by spreading this news across the land.

Jane Akrehas - Fox News:
After our struggle to air an honest report, Fox fired the general manager [of our station]. The new GM said that if we didn’t agree to changes that the lawyers were insisting upon, we’d be fired for insubordination in 48 hours.

We pleaded with [him] to look at the facts we’d uncovered. His reply: “We paid $3 billion dollars for these TV stations. We’ll tell you what the news is. The news is what we say it is!”

[After we refused,] Fox’s general manager presented us an agreement that would give us a full year of salary, and benefits worth close to $200,000 in “consulting jobs,” but with strings attached: no mention of how Fox covered up the story and no opportunity to ever expose the facts. [After declining] we were fired.
P. 43-45, 49



Kristina Borjesson - CBS, Emmy award winner:
Pierre Salinger announced to the world on Nov. 8, 1996, that he’d received documents proving that a US Navy missile had accidentally downed [TWA flight 800]. That same day, FBI’s Jim Kallstrom called a press conference. A man raised his hand and asked why the navy was involved in the recovery and investigation while a possible suspect. “Remove him!” [Kallstrom] yelled. Two men leapt over to the questioner and grabbed him by the arms. There was a momentary chill in the air after the guy had been dragged out of the room. Kallstrom and entourage acted as if nothing had happened.
P. 110, 111



Philip Weiss - New York Times Magazine:
James Kallstrom, then of the FBI, said vehemently at a press conference that every boat in the area of the [TWA flight 800] crash had been identified. Subsequently, government radar data was released showing that the boat closest to the crash had never been identified and sped away at more than thirty knots an hour. Kallstrom was later hired by CBS.
P. 186



April Oliver - CNN:
CNN was a willing accomplice in [the] campaign to crush the [Tailwind] story. CNN management ran at the first sign of heat. The heat included everyone from Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell to Special Forces veterans. My co-producer and I were fired. We were branded journalistic felons. CNN’s goal, in the words of one manager, “kill this thing, drive a stake through its heart and bury it.”
P. 217, 218



Greg Palast - BBC:
In the months leading up to the November [2000] balloting, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered elections supervisors to purge 58,000 voters on the grounds they were felons not entitled to vote. As it turns out, only a handful of these voters were felons. This extraordinary news ran on page one of the country’s leading paper. Unfortunately, it was in the wrong country: Britain. In the USA, it was not covered. The office of the governor [also] illegally ordered the removal of felons from the voter rolls—real felons—but with the right to vote under Florida law. As a result, 50,000 of these voters could not vote. The fact that 90% of these voters were Democrats should have made it news as this alone more than accounted for Bush’s victory.
P. 65, 66



Monika Jensen-Stevenson - Emmy-winning producer for 60 minutes:
Robert R. Garwood—14 years a prisoner of the Vietnamese, was found guilty in the longest court-martial in US history. At the end of the court-martial, there seemed no question that Garwood was a monstrous traitor. Several years later in 1985, Garwood was speaking publicly about something that had never made the news during his court-martial. He knew of other American prisoners in Vietnam long after the war was over. He was supported by Vietnam veterans whose war records were impeccable….

My sources included outstanding experts like former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Tighe and returned POWs like Captain McDaniel, who held the Navy’s top award for bravery. With such advocates, it was hard not to consider the possibility that prisoners (some 3,500) had in fact been kept by the Vietnamese as hostages to make sure the US would pay the more than $3 billion in war reparations. [After the war] American POWs had become worthless pawns. The US had not paid the promised monies and had no intention of paying in the future.
P. 225, 226, 233



Michael Levine - 25-year veteran of DEA, writer for New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today:
The Chang Mai “factory” that the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed in Vietnam. Case after case was killed by CIA and State Department intervention and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it….In 1980, CIA-recruited mercenaries and drug traffickers unseated Bolivia’s democratically elected president. Bolivia [was] the source of virtually 100% of the cocaine entering the US. Immediately after the coup, cocaine production increased massively. This was the beginning of the crack “plague.”…The CIA along with State and Justice departments had to protect their drug-dealing assets by destroying a DEA investigation. How do I know? I was the inside source….I sat down at my desk in the American embassy and wrote evidence of my charges. I addressed it to Newsweek. Three weeks later DEA’s internal security [called] to notify me that I was under investigation….The highlight of the 60 Minutes piece is when the administrator of the DEA, Federal Judge Robert Bonner, tells Mike Wallace, “There is no other way to put it, Mike, [what the CIA did] is drug smuggling. It’s illegal.”
P. 264-268, 271, 289



Gary Webb - San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winner:
In 1996, I wrote a series of stories that began this way: For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs of LA and funneled millions in drug profits to a guerilla army run by the CIA. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America….The story was developing a momentum all of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately, it was public pressure that forced the national newspapers into the fray. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA’s activities. Instead, my reporting and I became the focus of their scrutiny. It was remarkable [Mercury News editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Washington Post reporters assigned to debunk the series “could not find a single significant factual error.” A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos apologizing for “shortcomings” in the series. The New York Times hailed Ceppos for “setting a brave new standard,” and splashed his apology on their front page, the first time the series had ever been mentioned there. I quit the Mercury News not long after that….Do we have a free press today? Sure. It’s free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff—such stories are not even open for discussion.
P. 297, 303-310



John Kelly - author, ABC producer:
ABC hired me to help produce a story about an investment firm that was heavily involved with the CIA. Part of the ABC report charged that the CIA had plotted to assassinate an American, Ron Rewald, the president of [the investment firm]. Scott Barnes said on camera that the CIA had asked him to kill Rewald. After the show aired, CIA officials met with ABC executive David Burke, [who] was sufficiently impressed “by the vigor with which they made their case” to order an on-air “clarification.” But that was not enough. [CIA Director] Casey called ABC Chairman Goldenson. [Thus] despite all the documented evidence presented in the program, Peter Jennings reported that ABC could no longer substantiate the charges. That same day, the CIA filed a formal complaint with the FCC charging that ABC had “deliberately distorted” the news. In the complaint, Casey asked that ABC be stripped of its TV and radio Licenses….During this time, Capital Cities Communications was maneuvering to buy ABC. [CIA Director] Casey was one of the founders of Cap Cities. Cap Cities bought ABC. Within months, the entire investigative unit was dispersed.
P. 326-329



Robert McChesney - 500 radio & TV appearances:
[There has been a] striking consolidation of the media from hundreds of firms to an industry dominated by less than ten enormous transnational conglomerates. The largest ten media firms own all US TV networks, most TV stations, all major film studios, all major music companies, nearly all cable TV channels, much of the book and magazine publishing [industry], and much, much more. Expensive investigative journalism—especially that which goes after national security or powerful corporate interests—is discouraged. Largely irrelevant human interest/tragedy stories get extensive coverage….A few weeks after the war began in Afghanistan, CNN president Isaacson authorized CNN to provide two different versions of the war: a more critical one for the global audience and a sugarcoated one for Americans….It is nearly impossible to conceive of a better world without some changes in the media status quo. We have no time to waste.
P. 371-381

Posted by: Vianova Jun 21 2004, 11:42 PM
Man,
It's getting scary.
When I watch CNN ,
it's not for the news,
but for the propaganda report.

Duff Wilson at the Seattle Times exposed the practice of
"fertilzer amendments"
where farm fertilizers are adulterated with "trace" amounts of industrial wastes,
like steel mills residues, etc.
The fertilizers are a program of "recycling" allowed by the EPA.
It introduces cadmium, mercury,and overly high levels of zinc, and a myriad of pollutants to the farmlands , and the model assumes that the farm lands are totally pristine and have no prior contaminants accumulated , as in lead-arsenate used in Wa state orchards for decades/etc..
So the limits are allowed for each separate metal, etc.,
but never account for multiple toxics accumulating,
in synergistic fashion with eachother or other toxics like pesticides,
Fluorides and other septic tank effluents that pass along the ground water.

It caught national attention quickly, especially in NY, but then faded just as fast , as industrial resistance mounted an attack that silenced the whole movement to clean up the fertlizers, due to"exponential costs"and "bad science"
The costs of other disposal was enormous , to free disposal in fertilizers,
in that the industrial sources paid a tiny pittance to the fertilzer companies , to take the waste away.
In some cases industry sold zinc as fertilizer derived from old tires.
Watch out for peanuts folks...

But after weeks of exposure by the newspaper, then it was buried just as fast, and was thoroughly defeated by the industrial forces , and the fertilizers are still "amended"
with only oversight from the industries that supply the toxic wastes to the fertlizing companies.
Wilson is still there at the Times ,, but received a solid thrashing by Washington state industrial polluters of high tax base for the state,
and the state
set toxic limits,
with the fertilizer and industrial source companies to oversee themselves.

Another example of this kind of environmental insanity that was buried by newspapers, was the EPA program called
Biosolids,
or sewage sludge,
as farm fertilizers.
Absolutely loaded with heavy metals and fluorides,
it was at first trashed by the EPA,
dumping the originator, an Al Ruben,
then after realizing that it had no where else to remediate the problem,
as in ocean dumping,
and land filling
EPA brought Al Ruben back as a hero, because the Biosolids was a cheap way out for recycling toxic solid wastes.
The lawsuits around the country involving sewage sludge and its effects on farm animals and well water, number in the thousands.

Watch your well water,
Most of it is real bad.

Posted by: BJ Jun 22 2004, 05:03 AM
"...Rupert Murdoch, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to even lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves."

Now we have a Constitutional right, under the First Amendment, to become a nation of liars. Gee, I have the right to lie to you under First Amendment protection! It has been said that a liar is a thief and a thief is a liar. Will their next argument be, that in their pursuit of happiness, they are free to steal?

Rothschild said, in effect, that if he gained control of a nation's money supply, he cared not what laws were passed. Money buys everything. Ask your Congressmen/women, bought and paid for by corporate interests. The Supreme Court judges could be included in here, too.

The ONLY hope that we have in ending this nation's nightmare of political corruption is to remember that evil falls of its own weight. It hasn't failed to fall in all of history.

Exposures such as has been posted here will help bring about their downfall.

BJ

Posted by: Mark Jun 22 2004, 02:40 PM
crisrose, thanks for that startling and revealing information!


QUOTE
His reply: “We paid $3 billion dollars for these TV stations. We’ll tell you what the news is. The news is what we say it is!”


QUOTE
"Do we have a free press today? Sure. It’s free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff—such stories are not even open for discussion. "



Imagine if these beings didn't have total control of the news media, our govt, food, water, energy, money supply, military, religions, resources etc.

Posted by: Mark Sep 13 2004, 10:17 PM
QUOTE
Court Reverses Ruling on Jane Akre's BGH Suit
Feb. 21, 2003
QUOTE
February 27, 2003, 1400 PST (FTW) -- Last year FTW reported on an encouraging lower court victory by two TV reporters who had been fired by a Florida FOX affiliate for refusing to air a story containing false and inaccurate information. The story, describing the dangers of widespread growth hormone use by dairy farmers, was ultimately slanted by FOX to protect its advertising revenues.

An Organic Consumers report now brings us the saddening news that a Florida Appeals court has overturned the original ruling on the grounds that there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization.  -- FTW
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/022703_fox.html

Accepting a defense rejected by three other Florida state judges on at least six separate motions, a Florida appeals court has reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.

In a six-page written decision released February 14, the court essentially ruled the journalist never stated a valid whistle- blower claim because, they ruled, it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

In the lawsuit filed in 1998, Akre claimed she was wrongfully terminated for threatening to blow the whistle to the FCC. After a five-week trial that ended August 18, 2000, a six-person jury was unanimous in its conclusion that she was indeed fired for threatening report the station's pressure to broadcast what jurors decided was "a false, distorted, or slanted" story about the widespread use of growth hormone in dairy cows.

In overturning the jury on what amounts to a legal technicality, the court did not dispute the heart of Akre's claim, that Fox pressured her to broadcast a false story to protect the broadcaster from having to defend the truth in court, as well as suffer the ire of irate advertisers.

Nonetheless, the station aired a report in wake of the ruling saying it was "totally vindicated" by the verdict.

The "threshold issue," the court wrote-and all it ruled upon--was whether the technical qualifications for a whistleblower claim were ever met by Akre. In Florida, to file such a claim, the employer's misconduct must be a violation of an adopted law, rule or regulation. Fox argued from the first-and failed on three separate occasions in front of three different judges-to have the case tossed out on the grounds there is no hard, fast, and written rule against deliberate distortion of the news.

In essence, the news organization owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to even lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeal held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation. The court let stand without comment the jury verdict that awarded nothing to Steve Wilson, Akre's husband and co-plaintiff in the case. He aggressively represented himself at trial, paving the way for Fox attorneys to suggest he was as aggressive in the newsroom as he was in the courtroom and perhaps that was why he was fired.

Akre and Wilson were meeting with their attorneys to discuss a possible appeal of the ruling to Florida's Supreme Court and are expected to have an announcement and further comment soon. For further information:

http://www.foxBGHsuit.com

[Reposted under Fair Use Copyright Laws]

http://organicconsumers.org/rbgh/akre022103.cfm

Posted by: Guest Sep 14 2004, 10:14 PM
Fox must be the worst, I do not know,
but certainly all the news , newspapers and TV
are best observed as interpreting the whitewashed propaganda report, and filtering out the blatant lies,
often thru exposure such as this.

This shit is getting bad.
these judges need to be incarcerated for the nazi's they are.
These judges are like the
Information Retrieval Service
in the movie Brazil...

Posted by: BJ1 (Unlogged) Sep 15 2004, 06:12 AM
"In overturning the jury..."

So much for the verdict of juries! Our court system is in ruins when judges can, and do, overturn the judgment of juries. It boils down to one-man rule over the law. So why bother with seating a jury, taking up time, inconverience, and expense in reaching a fair verdict when their decisions won't stand?

Doesn't this just make you mad? Aaaaargh. I went through something similar when a judge decided to GO AGAINST THE LAW in making a judgment, leaving no recourse but to appeal his decision. It would have required more expense, much time, and a few more years of litigation. Not worth it. That's what they hope for...not worth it, just take it and suffer the loss. It cost me $10,000 to repair the damage to my roof, caused by a crooked roofer, which should have been made the judgment against the defendant.

I don't believe this was an isolated case. It's happening all over. It's a sad, sad day for America when a party to a lawsuit can disobey the court's instructions, commit perjury and still win!

Now, a jury finds for the Plaintiff and the judge sides with the Defendant in a case of great importance to the entire nation! Lying to the public is no longer a crime. This leaves the door open for the defense of ALL of those immoral bastards in Washington D.C. that lie to us every time they open their mouths.

BJ

Posted by: Mark Oct 1 2004, 12:27 PM
BJ
QUOTE
Lying to the public is no longer a crime.
This leaves the door open for the defense of ALL of those immoral bastards in Washington D.C. that lie to us every time they open their mouths.


Yup, and most people accept it so long as they have all you can eat buffets, lots of entertainment, tv, movies, concerts, sporting events, amusement parks, drugs, alcohol, porn etc.

We live in a decadant society that is unsustainable.

We don't protect the environment, we abuse it and deplete every natural resource to extinction.

We all deserve our fate if we don't try and improve our future.

I pity those who have children who will one day ask their parents,
"Why did you allow this to happen?"


Posted by: beast Jul 31 2005, 03:20 PM
well, if they couldn't lie
then they would all be in jail wouldn't theyuser posted image
and there would be nothing to read
except forums and blogs
huhNEW.gif

Posted by: parsingman Sep 16 2005, 04:47 PM
Going hand-in-hand with that we have

QUOTE

<snip>
The Police Can and Do Lie

The supreme court has upheld that the police can lie to you for any reason. The police cannot lie in court, or in official documents, (although some do). If you ask a plain-clothes police officer if they are the police, they can lie and say that they are not (this is one of the most common misunderstandings by citizens if you ask an undercover cop if they are the police, they can legally say no, and claim to be something else). In fact an undercover police officer can take illegal drugs with you to "prove" they aren't police. The police can lie about evidence they have about you (they can fabricate ''fake'' evidence to convince you to confess, for example). Fake evidence cannot be used in court, but if it makes you confess, it no longer matters. Never confess - it does not help you.
<snip>


http://civilliberty.about.com/cs/policeandyou/a/LE072503.htm


Posted by: Mark Mar 12 2006, 09:43 AM
QUOTE
Lap Dogs Of The Press
By Helen Thomas
The Nation
3-10-6
QUOTE
Of all the unhappy trends I have witnessed-conservative swings on television networks, dwindling newspaper circulation, the jailing of reporters and "spin"-nothing is more troubling to me than the obsequious press during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. They lapped up everything the Pentagon and White House could dish out-no questions asked.

Reporters and editors like to think of themselves as watchdogs for the public good. But in recent years both individual reporters and their ever-growing corporate ownership have defaulted on that role. Ted Stannard, an academic and former UPI correspondent, put it this way: "When watchdogs, bird dogs, and bull dogs morph into lap dogs, lazy dogs, or yellow dogs, the nation is in trouble."

The na've complicity of the press and the government was never more pronounced than in the prelude to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The media became an echo chamber for White House pronouncements. One example: At President Bush's March 6, 2003, news conference, in which he made it eminently clear that the United States was going to war, one reporter pleased the "born again" Bush when she asked him if he prayed about going to war. And so it went.

After all, two of the nation's most prestigious newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, had kept up a drumbeat for war with Iraq to bring down dictator Saddam Hussein. They accepted almost unquestioningly the bogus evidence of weapons of mass destruction, the dubious White House rationale that proved to be so costly on a human scale, not to mention a drain on the Treasury. The Post was much more hawkish than the Times-running many editorials pumping up the need to wage war against the Iraqi dictator-but both newspapers played into the hands of the Administration.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered his ninety-minute "boffo" statement on Saddam's lethal toxic arsenal on February 5, 2003, before the United Nations, the Times said he left "little question that Mr. Hussein had tried hard to conceal" a so-called smoking gun or weapons of mass destruction.

After two US special weapons inspection task forces, headed by chief weapons inspector David Kay and later by Charles Duelfer, came up empty in the scouring of Iraq for WMD, did you hear any apologies from the Bush Administration? Of course not. It simply changed its rationale for the war-several times. Nor did the media say much about the failed weapons search. Several newspapers made it a front-page story but only gave it one-day coverage. As for Powell, he simply lost his halo. The newspapers played his back-pedaling inconspicuously on the back pages.

My concern is why the nation's media were so gullible. Did they really think it was all going to be so easy, a "cakewalk," a superpower invading a Third World country? Why did the Washington press corps forgo its traditional skepticism? Why did reporters become cheerleaders for a deceptive Administration? Could it be that no one wanted to stand alone outside Washington's pack journalism?

Tribune Media Services editor Robert Koehler summed it up best. In his August 20, 2004, column in the San Francisco Chronicle Koehler wrote, "Our print media pacesetters, the New York Times, and just the other day, the Washington Post, have searched their souls over the misleading pre-war coverage they foisted on the nation last year, and blurted out qualified Reaganesque mea culpas: 'Mistakes were made.'"

All the blame cannot be laid at the doorstep of the print media. CNN's war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, was critical of her own network for not asking enough questions about WMD. She attributed it to the competition for ratings with Fox, which had an inside track to top Administration officials.

Despite the apologies of the mainstream press for not having vigilantly questioned evidence of WMD and links to terrorists in the early stages of the war, the newspapers dropped the ball again by ignoring for days a damaging report in the London Times on May 1, 2005. That report revealed the so-called Downing Street memo, the minutes of a high-powered confidential meeting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair held with his top advisers on Bush's forthcoming plans to attack Iraq. At the secret session Richard Dearlove, former head of British intelligence, told Blair that Bush "wanted to remove Saddam Hussein through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The Downing Street memo was a bombshell when discussed by the bloggers, but the mainstream print media ignored it until it became too embarrassing to suppress any longer. The Post discounted the memo as old news and pointed to reports it had many months before on the buildup to the war. Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Michael Kinsley decided that the classified minutes of the Blair meeting were not a "smoking gun." The New York Times touched on the memo in a dispatch during the last days leading up to the British elections, but put it in the tenth paragraph.

All this took me back to the days immediately following the unraveling of the Watergate scandal. The White House press corps realized it had fallen asleep at the switch-not that all the investigative reporting could have been done by those on the so-called "body watch," which travels everywhere with the President and has no time to dig for facts. But looking back, they knew they had missed many clues on the Watergate scandal and were determined to become much more skeptical of what was being dished out to them at the daily briefings. And, indeed, they were. The White House press room became a lion's den.

By contrast, after the White House lost its credibility in rationalizing the pre-emptive assault on Iraq, the correspondents began to come out of their coma, yet they were still too timid to challenge Administration officials, who were trying to put a good face on a bad situation.

I recall one exchange of mine with press secretary Scott McClellan last May that illustrates the difference, and what I mean by the skeptical reporting during Watergate.

Helen: The other day, in fact this week, you [McClellan] said that we, the United States, are in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history?

Scott: No. We are.that's where we are currently.

Helen: In view of your credibility, which is already mired.how can you say that?

Scott: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically elected governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Helen: Were we invited into Iraq?

Scott: There are democratically elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, but we are there today.

Helen: You mean, if they asked us out, that we would have left?

Scott: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments.

Helen: I'm talking about today, too.

Scott: We are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.

Helen: Did we invade those countries?

At that point McClellan called on another reporter.

Those were the days when I longed for ABC-TV's great Sam Donaldson to back up my questions as he always did, and I did the same for him and other daring reporters. Then I realized that the old pros, reporters whom I had known in the past, many of them around during World War II and later the Vietnam War, reporters who had some historical perspective on government deception and folly, were not around anymore.

I honestly believe that if reporters had put the spotlight on the flaws in the Bush Administration's war policies, they could have saved the country the heartache and the losses of American and Iraqi lives.

It is past time for reporters to forget the party line, ask the tough questions and let the chips fall where they may.

http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060327&s=thomas

http://rense.com/general69/lap.htm

Posted by: uggliozzi Mar 12 2006, 04:09 PM
The American people suffered manipulation of news long before they had a constitution. When the British king signed into law the parliamentary representation rights granted to the American colonies, the proclamation documents were sent by the normal British merchant ship - not the world's fastest means of transport. On the day that parliament passed the legislation a fast American schooner sailed to North America bringing the news that the demand for "no taxation without representation" had been successful. The war of insurrection was launched before the merchant ship arrived and the news kept from the people.

Posted by: Mark Jun 18 2006, 01:00 AM
The manipulation of news is maintained by a specific species of humans.

This species has used their news medias to generate racism between whites and blacks in the past 150 years.

This species controls the US govt, its news medias, Hollywood and the US currency.

QUOTE
"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."
-- Richard Salent, Former President CBS News


QUOTE
"A few weeks after the war began in Afghanistan, CNN president Isaacson authorized CNN to provide two different versions of the war: a more critical one for the global audience and a sugarcoated one for Americans"
~ Robert McChesney


QUOTE
"The Israeli embassy is practically dictating to the congress through influential Jewish people in the country."
~ Sen. William Fulbright, Chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 10-7-73 On CBS' Face the Nation


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"Israel is able to stifle free speech, control our Congress, and even dictate our foreign policy."
~ Paul Findley former U.S. Congressman


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"The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth."
~ H.L. Mencken

Posted by: Mark Sep 5 2006, 12:18 AM
Mike Whitney has a good clue about media control, but those who provide us with knowledge from our early childhood currently rule the world and it will still take some time for the truth to get to the people.

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It's Time to break up the Media
By Mike Whitney
06/21/06
Information Clearing House
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The media is a fully-integrated part of the state power-structure. In its practical application, it is more valuable than the military. There are definite drawbacks to using force, whereas, propaganda and public relations tend to be less disruptive to the normal flow of business.

The media’s primary objective is to shape public opinion in a way that elicits support for the corporate agenda. Public TV and the internet pose the biggest threats to that process. They both provide divergent sources of information which eschew the business-friendly filtering process. This explains why the Bush administration installed political appointees at PBS. Their job was to sabotage programs like Bill Moyer’s NOW and the weekly documentary series Frontline. Investigative journalism is a danger to private interests, creating the likelihood that the public will focus more attention on the shadowy activities of big business.

The ultimate goal of any privately owned information-system is to assert complete control over the news-cycle so that events can be arranged in a way that serves the needs of business. The public must be prevented from seeing the conjugal relationship between the state and industry. To achieve this, the media must appear to function independently and speak with many different voices when, in fact, it simply reiterates the same message from numerous vantage points. A simple Google search of any headline story will confirm the truth of this. There is no diversity of opinion in mainstream news. It is regimented and uniform.

Commercial media is designed to stimulate desire for consumer goods and to avoid any information that might instigate greater involvement in the political process. This explains why the vast majority of stories are diversionary accounts of weather-related tragedies and abductions of blond-white women rather than substantive coverage of real economic and political events.

The privately-owned media operates in a way that runs counter to the ideal of maintaining an “informed public” in a participatory democracy. It is a top-down model which hands over control of information to a class of corporate gatekeepers whose judgment is overshadowed by their desire to maximize profits.

We cannot expect impartiality from a privately-owned system where the main players have such an obvious stake in the outcome. Nor can such a system “free” in any meaningful sense of the word. In fact, the illusion of a “free press” is without question the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.

How can a “privately-owned” profit-driven, politically-connected industry be a “free press”?

And, why do people continue to expect independent, evenhanded coverage from organizations that have no allegiance to anyone other than their shareholders?

The media has to function within its own rules and parameters; it is structurally limited to “bottom-line” considerations. That makes “unbiased analysis” virtually impossible.

“Taking back the media” is meaningless sloganeering. The real goal is to create as many independent sources of information as possible to counter the ubiquitous “corporate narrative” of the media giants. To large extent, this has been achieved via the internet. The internet is, in many ways, the perfect democratic model for information-distribution. The public is free to seek their information from a wide range of options and, (from what we can deduce) they normally go to sites that provide news that is consistent with their own world view.

Is there a predisposition to news coverage? Do people naturally gravitate to sites which reaffirm their own basic convictions about reality and the world?

It seems so. That is why the media has very deliberately prevented leftists, liberals and progressives from appearing on mainstream programs. There is a cynical belief that if these voices are excluded, then the people who share their views will feel marginalized and powerless. This sense of impotence promotes inaction and further withdrawal from the political process. Ironically, the exclusion of leftist spokespeople has only directed more rage at the establishment-media and deepened the divisions between opposing groups. The corporate autocrats who promote this system of exclusion have no idea of what its costs to society will be, or whether it will eventually trigger widespread social upheaval. Silencing groups of people with whom we disagree, forces them to express themselves in less constructive ways. Censorship paves the way for violence.

The present system is so narrow ideologically that it is destructive to the basic principles on which the country was founded. The media offers no protection for the basic rights laid out in the US Constitution. Rather, it has become the soap-box for fanatical government officials spouting their rationalizations for torture, rendition, aggressive warfare, and spying on American citizens. All of these extreme forms of human rights abuse have been normalized by the commercial media. It demonstrates that there is a concerted effort to soften public’s attitudes towards fundamental moral issues like corruption and war crimes.

While the media has ignored the damage to our constitution and the perils of an all-powerful executive, it has intentionally mitigated the disastrous effects of global warming, nuclear proliferation and global energy depletion (Peak oil). These are issues that require public engagement and mobilization to affect drastically needed change in policy. Instead, the media diverts attention to meaningless drivel like gay marriage, “color-coded” terror alerts, or Jennifer Aniston’s marital problems.

Time and again the media has revealed itself to be the adversary of the public interest and the common good. In its present configuration it is a direct threat to civil liberties, social equity, and world peace. We no longer have the luxury of ignoring this monolithic octopus which has extended its tentacles into every corner of the body politic. The damage it has caused is already far too great.

Dismantling America’s media monopoly should be a central part of any progressive political platform. Democracy is impossible where information can be controlled by a few powerful corporations that shape the narrative to suit their own self-serving objectives. There must be unrestricted access to the facts that we need to make informed decisions about the issues that affect our lives and the future of the country. By increasing funding for independent and public media and by applying strict regulations to the size and influence of the media giants, we can resuscitate the “marketplace of ideas” and create an environment where divergent points of view can flourish. This will ignite greater citizen involvement and fuel the national debate.

Given the tremendous power of the media-giants this seems like an insurmountable task. Regrettably, there are no easy options. If the present system persists, civil liberties will continue to dwindle while the nation lurches from one war to the next. We’re better off steeling ourselves to the job ahead, broadening our base of support, and breaking up this media-monster once and for all.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13713.htm

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