The BuzzFlash Mailbag
March 26, 2002
Here's a few comments on stories in the mainstream media. Call me paranoid, but I always try to look at the "real" reason of pushing these things.
9-11 Terrorist -- Did He Go to the Hospital Before Attacks for Anthrax?: Funny how this comes out a couple of days after that interesting BBC article on the possible connection to the CIA regarding anthrax. Seems like mentioning the terrorists and anthrax together in a news story, no matter how slight, can push the attention back to the dead terrorists.
Recent reports about child pornography on the Net: Not that this stuff doesn't exist, but I sense this is making news to whip up some hysteria and get the public behind some crackdown on Internet freedom of speech.
The Nuclear Posture Review "leak": This is another "funny how" thing. Funny how this report was leaked to the L.A. Times reporter, but then the administration didn't really deny it, or get angry, or anything. In fact, they acted like, "we were going to tell you about it anyway, but now you've found out, yes, we're going to think about first strike and basically destroying the world and all of history, etc." It's almost like they used the leak to soften the blow.
Missing Pilot in Iraq?: Er, probably not, but let's see how Faux News runs with it, let's see if we can get the "people" behind us in our invasion plans.
Keep up the good work. I have to say that I try to *not* read BuzzFlash at night because often I won't be able to sleep! (It is a good eye-opener in the morning, you betcha).
Subj: Buchanan bashes Bennett on bashing Bush...
(Not real important, but I thought an introduction to the below link was in order, but am putting it at the top for convenience):
I've had to live in Nashville for almost three years -- where all of the media succumbs to Christian Right political pressure; even the "artsy/liberal" tab in this ADI is so right it "u-turns" in the middle of any article it attempts to divert towards the left...apologizing for and/or criticizing "its" own position (thus, why I searched out and found BuzzFlash -- something to keep me connected with the world in this hellish part of America... I think that's why they have so many churches here... oops! - another story) ... two more months and I'm back home! Anyway... just fyi, I found this article in a review of news posting, and thought it might be of interest to you. I thought it was a hoot... (okay, so Buchanan broke from the GOP -- it's still two very outspoken conservatives battling -- I say: continue gentlemen!). In a note of hope: I do see where the Bush regime seems to be bouncing all over the place at times, in attempts to please all who paid heftily... he (even) can't please all of his investors -- and they are sharks for their own causes - he owes them! As everything gets more complicated: Enron (speaks for itself), the Middle East (now he has to back step and seem supportive of Palestinians, which I am sure he is not; just wants their oil...), South America (drug dealers/CIA/family friends/etc), his tax cut and adverse ramifications (so he gave a couple hundred bucks back to the average Joe and more to those who mattered... now the states are getting so severely cut they are going to raise taxes... you read it all across the country... so the "net gain" of his tax cut is really a negative... unless you're one of those who mattered... and I am sure he, like Daddy, will have a Federal tax raise coming -- he'll have to, but not for those who matter...; though they will try to blame a tax increase on Dem's... and Dubbya keeps opening his mouth.
The point: there are so many "special interests" to fulfill, it's gotta start unraveling sometime. Soon would be nice. My suggestion would be to start posting stories (truthfully, but smart) not as liberals against Bush, but instead find the angle to start pitting them (right wing group vs. right wing group) against each other... let them bash each other -- they get more mainstream media time. Good luck, thank you for the news, and
it seem strange that we have not yet caught the anthrax mailer, or OBL,
can't seem to find many dead bodies of the Taliban or Al Queda, just a
day or so ago four more Pakistanis with questionable visa waivers were
able to enter the US, and we don't know from one day to the next what
color we are on the color wheel?
A BuzzFlash Reader Letter to the Washington Post:
To Whom It May Concern:
I read the Post's explanation for the Bruce Bawer review of "Blinded by the Right" in yesterday's 'Book World' letters column. Unfortunately, your response fails to answer all the questions raised by this episode regarding your policies and editorial judgment.
For starters, you seem imply that blame for the decision to assign the book to Bawer lies (at least in part) with Brock - that somehow the Post's oversight is 'his fault' because his book does not include an index.
would think Book World's editors are familiar enough with their reviewers'
backgrounds - or could easily check with third parties who are - to be
aware of possible conflicts of interest; certainly it is their responsibility
to do so - not Brock or his publisher's to include
I seem to recall a similar incident occurred in your recent past: assigning
a reviewer who not only harbored an ideological grudge against an earlier
book critical of conservative politics (certainly your prerogative &
one that makes for a more involving read than a puff piece), but who also
had a vested personal interest in attempting to discredit said book. The
fact that both books in question were critiques of conservative
At the very least, David Brock's book deserves a new review from an honest critic with no ax to grind, be it from the left or right; then hopefully, Bawer - and any other reviewers who fail to disclose direct involvement with a book's subject matter - will be banned from future Post reviews. Finally, the Post and Book World need to closely reexamine the decision-making process that leads to these episodes taking place.
If I can be allowed to express my own ideological perspective for a moment, episodes like this prove David Brock's thesis beyond a reasonable doubt: reviewers deliberately hiding their conflicts of interest and agendas (whether with or without the aid of your editors) are just another example of the truth-be-damned, whatever-it-takes tactics the hard-right movement currently dominating the GOP employs to achieve its goals. One of those goals is to paint objective news coverage as 'liberal' - and therefore tainted & untrustworthy - as opposed to 'fair and balanced' (sic) conservative-slanted reporting. American journalism, the health of our democracy, as well as the values and traditions of The Washington Post itself demand that you resist the temptation or pressure to join in.
Subj: Daddy's Little Princess
When I was a youngster, my little sister (the princess) taught me a very important lesson about just how unfair life can be. If I had something she wanted, or if she just wanted to get her way, she would assault me. I'm not talking about the semi-playful attacks of sibling rivals. I am talking about the snarling, biting, scratching, gouging attacks of a rabid wolverine.
as soon as I raised a hand to defend myself or to push her away, she would
run crying to my father (who was probably drunk). Choking back sobs, with
her best theatrical tears streaming down her face, she would blubber out
the words, "he... hit... me". Then, invariably without waiting
to hear my side, my dad would fly into a rage and go after me screaming
"you little sissy, how dare you hit your sister." He would then
spank the hell out of me while my kid sister watched and laughed at me
from behind his back. If I dared complain that it was she that first attacked
me, he would just spank me even harder for "not taking it like a
man." Meanwhile, my sister would claim her spoils, confiscating the
toy she had coveted. I didn't dare try to get it back for fear of further
confrontation with my
When I witness the behavior of the republican party, I can't help but be reminded of my kid sister. The Democratic party is analogous to me (naturally) and the media are my father. Any time the Democrats gain any kind of advantage (such as a popular president), or conservatives just want to get their way by ramming through some piece of partisan legislation, the GOP also attacks with the unbridled viciousness of that rabid wolverine. They use every dirty-trick and dishonest ploy their devious minds can concoct. If we Democrats try to defend ourselves or (heaven forbid) strike back, the GOP runs crying to the media, shedding crocodile tears and claiming that it was the Democrats that attacked without provocation. Then, without bothering to investigate the true facts, the media whack the Democratic Party, while the GOP giggles with self-satisfied glee. If we complain that it was the other guys that attacked first, we get hit even harder. Then like daddy's little princess, the republicans waltz in and steal their prize with triumphant self-righteousness. Meanwhile, the Democrats are left to sulk in the corner mumbling under their breath about how unfair dad is being, afraid to speak up for fear of further abuse. When I witness this scenario, I can't help but feel the same impotent rage and frustration I felt as a child.
Dubya's recent complaints that the Democrats unfairly accused him of playing politics with his trip to Latin America is just one small example of this dysfunctional dynamic. (Actually, he never said the accusation was false, he just said it was unfair that the Dems brought it up.) In contrast, I can remember Clinton's overseas press conferences, where members of the right-wing American media would bombard him with questions about semen-stained dresses, while some world leader at his side stared uncomfortably at the ground, embarrassed not only for our President, but also by the inappropriate nature of the questions themselves. Yet unlike Dubya, Bill never whined to the press that they weren't playing fair. Instead, he "took it like a man" and answered his attackers with unbelievable poise and dignity. I think that is why, no matter how persistent and degrading the assaults, President Clinton never lost the empathy and support of the American people. We felt HIS pain.
In the case of Whitewater, the media (in the form of the NY Times and Washington Post editorial pages) are playing the part of the abusive dad right down to the bitter end. Like naive and newly vindicated children, we went running to them waving our proof of exoneration and exclaiming, "See, we were right, they were wrong, I told you." I guess we were expecting some kind of apologetic contrition. We wanted dad to say "I am so sorry for jumping to conclusions. I hope you can forgive me. How can I make it right?" But, that only happens in television families. The real world (and politics) doesn't work that way. Like an abusive parent, the media can not admit their judgmental errors without confronting their own abusive nature. So, like my dad, the media simply justify their mistakes with sanctimonious platitudes in the vein of "well, where there's smoke there must be fire." If pressed further they will, most likely, become indignant and angry at having their veracity and moral authority challenged. It has happened many times before. Like with a family, political dysfunction feeds upon itself in endless cycles.
At least in my family, the little princess matured and stopped her childish and manipulative behavior. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Republican party shows no inclination to do the same. In fact, their behavior seems to be getting more childish and more manipulative every day. As to my dad, he eventually sought counseling and joined a 12-step program. However, he always had trouble with the step where you admit your past mistakes and make amends to those you have hurt. Just like the New York Times, he could never swallow his pride for long enough to say, "I'm sorry."
Subj: Fwd: The more things change....
A friend sent me this and it seems appropriate for the mailbag this week... Enjoy!
How does BuzzFlash feel about several chapters in Michael Moore's new book "Stupid White Men" that expose the Democrats as Republicans in sheeps' clothing? I was very disturbed by his trashing of the Clinton administration in the chapter entitled "Democrats. DOA." I was under the impression (which means I haven't done enough research and I'm relying on you) that much of the initiatives of the Clinton White were stalled because of the first four years w/ a Republican dominated House and Senate and the next four years consumed by a sex scandal that never should have happened. Am I dreaming? Maybe someone can defend/address the facts presented and denounce the image Mr. Moore presents of Bill Clinton giving lip service to America for 8 years. Personally, I was very unhappy with the image presented and is Ralph Nader really the answer? Don't get me wrong, I think Ralph is great, he'd probably make an excellent president, but he was as likely to make it into the White House in 2002 as I was.
Thanks for posting my comments from Tom Delay, Cluck Cluck. It was great seeing my letter posted on your site.
a "funny" thing happened: the day after that posting I was informed
that my employment contract was mysteriously being canceled as of March
29th. I am a PC network technician, and like most people, the last thing
I need is to lose my job. My heart sank and I thought, 'uh oh, here we
go.' Thankfully, it turned out that the two events were purely coincidental,
and as of yesterday I have a new contract with a different client and
everything is back in order with my job. The phantoms of Republican ire
which I had imagined turned out to be just that. Regardless, whatever
might have resulted I was going to speak my mind and take the fallout
head on. Honestly, it is the least I can do. There is just so much death
and horror going on around the world, the least I, or any American
In all it was an exciting week. The Tom Delay subject even queued some follow-up comments from William Rivers Pitt and a full piece on Working For Change, including other little comments I noticed on other sites. I wish I had taken more time to make my letter stand on it's own, rather than just echoing bits from another commentary, but I'll learn.
Anyway, thanks again and keep up the amazing work on BuzzFlash.com. You're getting more and more notice, but more importantly your hard work is having an important impact on the sleeping left. People are slowly waking up to the madness that is the Bush Administration and this brutal war on terror. Long live BuzzFlash!
Your website posts some of THE most egregious examples of the power grab by the Bush regime, and yet the response from the Democrats is weak at best, ENABLING at worst. Have you noticed?
Many of us believe this purposeful - since the two parties are determined to protect and defend the status quo: Keeping the rich and powerful rich and powerful.
response to Anthony Arias, asking where he could go to support progressives,
one place you can start is by listening and/or supporting a fairly new
radio station. It broadcasts
Let me give an example. The Mike Malloy Show is on each weekday from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EST) with a rebroadcast each day from 9PM -- 12AM. Mike was fired from WLS (Chicago), which is now owned by ABC-Disney, because he was considered too LIBERAL. I am not a relative of Mike and I am not writing a commercial for his radio show. However, I agree; we need to support those few people that have gotten on the air. I supported him when he was in Chicago and have followed him to this station. Also, this radio station, i. e. America, is owned by the United Auto Workers. The news on the half hour, by the way, is from the Labor Radio network--a refreshing change, I say.
You can also check out Mike at [MikeMalloy.net]. Also, you should know that this station is trying to get these shows on regular radio stations around the country. In fact, I know that Mike told the audience that they were now on 12 stations as of the week of 3/18. So, here is a way you can help--lobby to get these hosts on you local radio station.
Thanks BUZZ. You do a great job.
otherwise noted, all original