April 5, 2004
CNN and the Truth: It's Nothing to Yawn About
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
If there is television news programming that operates independently of the White House spin-of-the-day, please let us know.
Let's just look at a few recent examples of the Karl Rove television news media stenographic pool at work.
After David Letterman aired a videotape of Tyler Crotty, 13 and the son of a Bush $100,000 plus "Pioneer" fundraiser, fighting to stay awake as George droned on and on, CNN host Daryn Kagan dismissed the videotape with the following on-air comment: "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting." CNN anchor Kyra Phillips later reran the tape but cautioned viewers: "We're told that the kid was there at that event, but not necessarily standing behind the president." [LINK]
Accused of misleading his viewers, Letterman called the White House a bunch of liars. (Hey, Dave, we've been doing that for four years. So, don't think you're breaking any new ground here.)
And what do you know? CNN did a sudden turnabout, claiming that the Bush propaganda machine never really called them at all. They vaguely attributed the unfounded allegation to news staff error.
"This whole thing just smells. Doesn't it smell a little bit?" Letterman remarked on his show after the CNN retreat. [LINK]
Here's our BuzzFlash question. Does anyone really believe that the CNN staff ACCIDENTALLY made up a story about the White House calling and telling CNN that the bored boy was spliced in? Come on now.
What we have here is the distinct possibility, although we can't prove it, that the White House called CNN to try and discredit Letterman. CNN ran with the White House tip, which was brazenly a lie. Letterman then called the White House spinmeisters a bunch of liars on the air. The White House then called CNN and told them that they would prefer that their fingerprints weren't on the original discrediting lie. Then CNN suddenly makes fun of the whole episode and says that the White House didn't ring them up after all.
If you accept this scenario, then a major news broadcaster in the United States lied about a lie, twice. They accepted the White House lie, which appeared ludicrous to begin with, and then lied about the White House peddling the lie to them. Is there any doubt now, if this is what happened, that CNN is just another White House propaganda outlet?
And if you think that these theories about the main stream press being lapdogs for the Bush Cartel are a bit on the fringe, then how do you explain this hiring at NBC: "Anna Perez, who recently directed communications at the National Security Council, will become chief communications executive for NBC, the network announced yesterday."
You read that right. The press flack for the Bush Cartel liar of the month, Condoleezza Rice, did such a good job at handling the dissembling of our National Security Advisor, NBC figured she could do the same thing for them.
Is this for real? Yes, we don't make this stuff up. [LINK]
Then there's the daily Bush propaganda megaphone known as FOX News. The day Richard Clarke was to appear before the 9/11 Commission, FOX released to Commission members a briefing that Clarke gave to selected reporters a year ago. FOX was, as a news organization, directly attempting to undermine Clarke's testimony. Say what? A news organization taking an active role in protecting the partisan lying underbelly of the Bush Cartel by becoming actively INVOLVED in trying to discredit a witness before the 9/11 Commission?
No fringe theories here. Just the facts.
If that weren't enough, we learned this weekend that Republican operatives are in charge of the American government press operation in Iraq. As our soldiers and mercenaries are slaughtered, GOP dissemblers do damage control as they feed "good news" stories (or make them up) to the colluding mainstream press. [LINK]
Karl Rove knows that American presidential elections are won and lost on television. The party that can control the spin and the images on the tube is the party that will win in November. Television is the spigot through which the information and subconscious messages that define the candidates are released.
That is why the Republican National Committee is going to court to try and suppress 527s, like MoveOn.Org, from airing ads. In an effort to bypass the FEC, which will likely put the kibosh on the 527s anyway, the RNC is so concerned about the impact of the anti-Bush ads that they want the courts to stop them immediately. The RNC calls the ads -- and don't laugh, this is too serious -- "An unprecedented criminal enterprise designed to impermissibly affect a presidential election." [LINK]
In a recent interview in "Le Figaro," author and Bush critic John Le Carre commented (per the BuzzFlash translation from the French) about the French release of his novel "Absolute Friends": "The gravest sin in my eyes is the corruption of the truth, and this is what I address in my book. The majority of people in the United States have absolutely no chance of finding out what the truth really is. It matters little that some courageous journalists have tried. The truth is simply not able to penetrate the [media] system that exists."
We have crossed over the threshold into an Orwellian media, where lies are truth -- and the truth tellers are labeled as liars.
There is a point where Soviet-era control of the media and one-party corporate control of the media merge into the same product: government news that goes unchallenged, particularly on television.
Liberals and progressives often underestimate the impact of television news, political ads and satire on the average American voter. That is because many of them "look down" on television as boorish. Karl Rove doesn't bother to sneer, however; he just plays television like a concert violinist.
"The majority of people in the United States have absolutely no chance of finding out what the truth really is," John Le Carre warns.
One need only turn on television news to know how desperately right he is.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original