February 11, 2004
Lessons in Discovering the Real Story
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
I am an avid reader of BuzzFlash, Common Dreams, Alternet, TruthOut, etc., and also a heavy user of Google and Lexis-Nexis. I am always amazed when I learn that others are still depending on the New York Times and Washington Post exclusively for their news. They seem to think that if it isn't there, maybe it isn't true. I think most BuzzFlash readers are aware of how the search for news works, but there are many who need to know that they can dig a little deeper. Following is my morning quest:
In reading Joe Conason's New York Observer piece "Kerry's Record Should Scare Bush" from February 9, 2004, (http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/story.asp?ID=8563), I was struck by the statement "Ed Gillespie, the former Enron lobbyist who serves as chairman of the Republican National Committee, is test-marketing their latest products." Why didn't I know that Ed Gillespie was an Enron lobbyist? Did everybody else know this? David Corn also mentioned the Gillespie/Bush connection this week.
This lead me to Google-ize "Gillespie" and "Enron" and thus found an article on CorpWatch from February 2002, reprinted from an L A Times piece by Mark Barabak: (http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=1793) where the Gillespie relationship with Enron is exposed, three months and a year before he was chosen to lead the RNC.
Then I found that Public Citizen, a journal and webpage from Ralph Nader's organization, published a report in June 2003, entitled "Ed Gillespie: The Embedded Lobbyist. New Chairman Brings Corporate Loyalties to Top Job in the GOP" (found at http://www.citizen.org/documents/Gillespie_June.pdf).
Through Lexis-Nexis, I learned that both the Washington Post and the New York Times had articles about the appointment of Gillespie to be head of the Republican National Committee in their June 17th, 2003 editions but both papers mentioned the Gillespie/Enron connection far down in the article. Neither paper has mentioned it since then. Neither article is available free online anymore.
There are lots of internet references to the Gillespie/Enron connection in 2001 and 2002 like this great one: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0118-01.htm in Common Dreams that outlines the multiple Bush administration/Enron connections.
I think that it is time for the Democratic Party and internet bloggers to revisit this embeddedness of Bush and the other repuglicans with corporate scandal. Mr. Bush should not be allowed to get away with off-handedly saying, "some corporate leaders decided not to tell the truth," dismissing his own and Republican culpability in the matter. Mr. Kerry and Mr. McAuliffe need to bring this to the forefront again. There are so many scandals, so little time.....
They can start with the "Enron Family Bush," a fifty-page timeline of the Bush Enron connections: http://www.thedailyenron.com/documents/20020426114015-79227.pdf
So, I have learned an awful lot this morning from following up on one line that I read and wanted further information about. The key is to Google anything that you don't fully understand. We are lucky to live in a time when so much information is literally at our fingertips. We should use it before the Clear Channels and Viacoms of the world swallow up Google and rest of the internet along with the rest of the electronic media and make this an information-free society.
Sigrid Smith, from North Haven
A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
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