Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Conspiracy of Silence and More

We have been warning our readers about the mainstream press since the inception of this website. We have asserted that "corporatism," a willingness to distort or ignore news that ill-fits the politics of the controlling members of the corporation, has infected all but a tiny handful of the national-level newspapers. "Corporatism" is a shameful flouting of journalist ethics, but publishers are not journalists, they are business men and women with capitalist motivations ... and party political motivations. In this sense they are guilty of a conspiracy to misinform the American public.

We have used the mainstream and not-so-mainstream press to make points about the events that form the political and social fabric of our times. Sometimes we have not sufficiently pointed at the glaring and not-so-glaring biases that we see in the articles. Our apologies to you; we thought most of them were either obviously expressive of liberal points of view—which after all is what this website is all about—or they expressed radical, conservative, Bushite points of view that were glaring and, if things were not so desperate, almost humorously absurd.

Last week Mr. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, an otherwise reasonable reporter and writer on politics inside the beltway in Washington wrote a hatchet-job piece on Representative John Conyers's unofficial meeting in the basement of the Capitol Building about the so-called Downing Street Memorandum and other documents. Milbank used derisive language to describe the unofficial meeting and basically accused them of engaging in a fantasy. Milbank's response to the criticism of his journalism (whether it was reporting or punditry we do not know ... we only know it appeared in the "news" section of the paper not on the "opinion" pages) was to raise the flag of anti-Semitism (see FAIR article, below).

The attack on Conyers and the Democrats by an employee of the Washington Post is an amazing and noteworthy event. Conyers and those others who are concerned about the Downing Stree Memo had no other place to meet in the Capitol Building but an unused room in the basement owing to the peckerwood attitude of the Majority Leader Tom DeLay. It is not up to Milbank or the Post to decide when and where and on what subjects delegations and caucuses of concerned elected representatives meet. It marks the end of our hope and trust that the Post had not been seriously corrupted by "corporatism" and Republican browbeating and conservative capitalist, profits-above-all politics. For myself this trust goes back to 1954 when I was a newsboy for the Washington Post. It's a sad day for a legendary newpaper!

Here are some other views on this subject:

I reminded a friend that the Watergate Hearings and the ultimate resignation of President Nixon did not strike like a bolt out of the blue. It took a lot of time to develop and it took a lot of professional courage on the part of Woodward and Bernstein and their publishers at The Washington Post to keep it going. It may be that unseating George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld will take even more courage and persistence.

It is true that the Downing Street Memorandum provides ONLY new authenticity to facts we have all long since assumed from indirect references and inference about the yet-to-be found Weapons of Mass Destruction, the assertion of which, by the way, was the primary reason the Congress voted to let George conduct his war on Saddam Hussein and his people. Well, NEW AUTHENTICITY is worth its weight in gold in court ... in an impeachment!

In addition, morever, the Downing Street Memo uses the expression "... intelligence and facts were being fixed (emphasis added) around the policy (to invade Iraq)." Some have said this is obscure and perhaps an idiosyncratic statement meant to assert that "fixed" means nothing more than "attached" (as a tail is fixed to a donkey), but these ideas ring false. "Fixed" means "repaired" or making something like you want it to be. Clearly the case for war was incomplete and the trail of evidence supporting war was "broken"; there were not sufficient facts available from truthful sources to justify any action whatsoever, much less a massive invasion costing upwards of 50,000 lives so far.

Clearly, the Bushites made up the needed intelligence and facts from whole cloth, that is, they deliberately LIED to the people and to Congress to provoke a deadly war, which they have mismanaged and because of mismanagement are sure to lose.

The Downing Street Memo is not the only piece of evidence, but it is the first necessary piece of evidence that clearly justifies the beginning of impeachment proceedings in the House and taking George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld to trial in the Senate.

An event of this magnitude—an impeachment—takes tremendous courage and will. Make no mistake about this. Impeachments are trouble. Things will be revealed that embarrass all sorts of people in and out of government. People in both parties must feel the full pressure of truth on falsehood. People in the press must feel the pressure of professional ethics pushing harder against and defeating the browbeating and corporatism. Citizens must understand and keep the pressure on their elected representatives. It all takes action and courage from all of us.

In the long run the Milbank article may be revealed as a clever distraction meant to help the impeachment generate enough momentum to overcome the inertias of fear and conformity, ... or more likely it will be the beginning of the end of Milbank's credibility as a reporter, effectively the end of his career. Too bad. George Bush and his radical politics are not worth it!