December 19, 2002
On October 26th the New York Times Couldn't Find 150,000 Protesters in Washington, D.C., Now They Can't Find Karl Rove's Fingerprints on the Media Dagger in Trent Lott's Back
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
On Saturday, October 26th, the New York Times couldn't find 150,000 people in the middle of our nation's capital protesting the proposed Iraq War (See: http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/2002/11/25_Protests.html), so it's no surprise that they can't find the real story behind the right wing media attacks on Trent Lott.
On Wednesday, December 18, the NYT published a story about right wing pundits who "have begun to criticize their own ranks for helping the Democrats keep the controversy alive" (See: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/18/politics/18CONS.html). "Mr. Lott long ago stopped being a favorite among many conservatives, who think he gives in too often to Senate Democrats. Now some of those people are reserving their criticism for other conservatives, who have joined the Democrats in speaking out against Mr. Lott."
Now the last sentence is an observation of the New York Time's reporter. It repeats the myth that the Democrats are clamoring for Lott's resignation as Senate majority leader elect. Alas, except for a brief flurry of activity by African-American Congressional representatives, there has been a deplorable absence of Democratic leaders calling for Lott to step down. Lord knows, BuzzFlash wishes they were shouting and screaming, but they aren't. Except for Al Gore and, belatedly, John Kerry, there has been, for the most part, only very tepid criticism of Lott -- and few Democratic Senate leaders have called for his resignation.
In fact, the most outspoken Senate voice questioning Lott's ability to lead the Republicans has been the number two Republican in the Senate, Don Nickles of Oklahoma.
Trent Lott's possible resignation (from a position that he has not yet reassumed) is really a story of behind the scene skirmishes among those right wing journalists and media outlets who are following Karl Rove's marching orders to attack Lott -- and the "pure" right wing nuts who support all leaders of the neo-confederacy movement no matter what. Yet the NYT poses this as an issue of whether or not some Republicans are aiding a Democratic onslaught against Lott. Well, the NYT couldn't find 150,000 protestors in D.C.; now, ironically, they see 150,000 Democratic leaders that don't exist railing against Lott.
As BuzzFlash has detailed in several editorials and commentaries (See: http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/2002/12/16_Lott.html), the media attack on Lott has largely been orchestrated by Karl Rove. When several of the right wing White House lapdog columnists called for Lott to step down, using similar themes in their columns, any rookie journalist could see (except for the well-paid editors and scribes of the NYT) that they were being fed message points from on high -- and those bullet points weren't coming from the DNC.
Right now, as the Rove machine feeds the NYT and other news outlets with the line that the Democrats are unfairly attacking Lott, all one needs to do is ask which Democrats are viciously attacking Lott? We wish there were a lot of them piling on the racist senator, but just look around. Where, alas, are they?
What we have is Rove, in an admittedly savvy strategy, undercutting Lott through media leaks, then blaming the media leaks and pressure put upon Lott to resign on the Democrats.
Rove knows that he can't afford to lose suburban and independent voters who might vote Democratic if the GOP racist code word cover story is blown wide open by the Trent Lott gaffe. On the other hand, he can't afford to alienate the neo-confederacy white male voters who make up the core constituency of the GOP in the South.
So Rove leaks stories damaging to Lott, withdraws any White House support for Lott (as Tom Daschle continues along with his usual mute button turned on), and then blames the Democrats for pummeling Lott when they aren't (thus getting the Rush Limbaughs of the world to blame the Dems, providing the White House with ground cover to continue its stealth attack on the Mississippi Mop Head.)
It's a clever strategy. All it needs to work is a docile, brain dead media -- including America's "paper of record" that couldn't find 150,000 people protesting midday in the nation's capital.
Just remember that it was the New York Times that carried the water for the Republicans in publishing stories that fanned the GOP's false claims of Whitewater misdoings by the Clintons. It was the New York Times that enthusiastically helped the Bush campaign construct a totally false caricature of Al Gore as a Pinocchio during the 2000 campaign, when it was Bush's nose that was growing longer every day.
Pretty soon it's going to become a badge of dishonor to be working as a journalist for the New York Times. Then the paper will go and hire Dick Morris as its news editor and make their increasingly Republican news bias legitimate.
If you think BuzzFlash is just blowing smoke, we are calling to the stand as witness for the prosecution none other than one Trent Lott, as quoted in a Wednesday, December 18, article:
"Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, fighting to surmount a furor over his racially insensitive remarks, complained Wednesday about anonymous White House leaks calling for his demise.
'There seems to be some things that are seeping out that have not been helpful,' Lott said after a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Biloxi, Miss."
The Washington Post posted an even more blunt article, "Lott Says Bush Aides Undermine Bid to Stay":
"Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) yesterday lashed out at the White House for undermining his campaign to remain Senate Republican leader, as pressure mounted on him to step down.
On a day when Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) became the first Senate Republican explicitly to call for his ouster, Lott struck back at the White House for leaking negative comments about him in recent days."
Rove's in a tight spot -- and he's a guy who loves a challenge. He's got to get Lott out as majority leader, but keep him in the Senate. He can't afford to have Lott bolt the Senate for two reasons. One, the governor of Mississippi is a Democrat and would appoint a Democratic replacement, making the Senate 50-50 again. Two, an embittered Trent Lott would be a dangerous snake slithering around the South and stirring up resentment against Bush among the Jefferson Davis lovers of the Grand Hypocrisy Party. Who knows, would Trent be angry enough to launch a Dixiecrat 2004 party, which would mean the defeat of George W. in the next election? The latter is an unlikely, but not completely implausible scenario. At the least, Lott could subtly use it as a threat in negotiating with the White House for the terms of his resignation as majority leader.
Let's just ask one final question. If BuzzFlash, which is financed by reader support, could figure out the White House strategy within a couple of days of Lott's infamous remark, why can't the NYT, which is part of a three billion dollar media conglomerate (See: http://www.nytco.com/company.html), get the story straight?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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BUZZFLASH NOTE: The NYT even ran another, seemingly contradictory, article claiming that the call of the right wing press for Lott to resign was proof of their independence.
"The responses by conservatives have provided a marked contrast to the contention — put forth most recently by former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore — that the nation's conservative news media acts as a monolithic Republican support system."
How gullible can you get? The right wing press is acting (except for the ideologically "pure" zealots like Paul Weyrich) as a support system for the Rove White House effort to remove Lott from the leadership post and replace him with a more cooperative Bush Clone, someone who supports the neo-confederacy agenda -- most importantly anti-civil rights judges -- but who does it with a youthful smile, while holding frequent photo-ops with young black children. In short, the conservative press is doing the White House's bidding to get a new majority leader who fits in more smoothly with the Bush civil rights charade.
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SECOND BUZZFLASH NOTE: Finally, after both NYT articles were written, the Big Dog, Bill Clinton, became the first major Democratic leader to pull the white sheets off of the Grand Hypocrisy Party. (See: http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/18/clinton.lott/index.html)
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BUZZFLASH NOTE: As we were finishing this editorial, news broke that
Jeb Bush was putting the heat on Lott. Shall we say, "Case Closed."
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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