9.16.2006

shame

Earlier this week, video of Keith Olbermann's on-air essay "This Hole In The Ground" was making the internet rounds. I avoided it, along with most 9/11 tributes, preferring my own personal memories. At Allan's suggestion, I watched it today.

It's excellent.

You can see it at Truthout or at the always-dependable Crooks and Liars, where there is also a transcript.

If you haven't seen it yet, do watch. Running time 8:45.

14 comments:

sister.susie said...

Wow. Thanks for recommending that. I'm glad I read it.

I notice that Lincoln was quoted in the piece. Aristotle said, "What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions."

There appears to be a HUGE gap between statesmen and politicians these days.

Olbermann said that our leaders... "spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all.

Um... please excuse my ignorance... but columnists don't work for the government. They work for magazines or newspapers. How do our leaders buy the slant they want? I can't quite picture the financial shenanigans this would involve.

Can you enlighten me?

L-girl said...

but columnists don't work for the government. They work for magazines or newspapers. How do our leaders buy the slant they want? I can't quite picture the financial shenanigans this would involve.

A slew of incidents have come to light where the Bush admin has paid off - literally, given money to - journalists or columnists in exchange for their repeating govt propaganda without question, spinning news stories in a positive light, suppressing other news, and so on.

There was Jeff Gannon/Guckert, a member of the White House press corps who was actually a White House plant; Armstrong Williams, a conservative "commentator" who received money to talk up the admin's education "policy"; 10 or more staffers on the Miami Herald who were paid to write anti-Castro material - those are the ones that come to mind right away. I'm sure I'm forgetting many others.

You can Google any of their names and find others - and I'm sure other readers will post more names.

Then there are the operatives who haven't been exposed, like the New York Times's Judith Miller, who even got to look like a martyr for not revealing her sources.

redsock said...

If I recall -- along the lines of Miller and the Times -- Jack White, the editor of USAToday, was also found to be lying his head off, though I don't think the Junta was paying him.

Then of course there are the scores of "journalists" and cable news people who will parrot the neo-cons bullshit and do their dirty work (see Novak, Robert) for free.

redsock said...

Susie,

Read up on Operation Mockingbird (a quick Google search turned up this, which will have to do since I am at work).

Carl Bernstein (of Watergate reporting fame) wrote about it for Rolling Stone in October 1977.

He said:

"The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception ...

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Pres International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc."

---------

Katharine Graham, the editor of the Washington Post, in a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia:

"We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

I think it was one-time CIA Director William Casey who quipped that it was easier to buy a journalist in Washington than a hooker.

redsock said...

I think it was one-time CIA Director William Casey who quipped that it was easier to buy a journalist in Washington than a hooker.

And in the case of Gannon (a Bush favourite in press conferences) -- a prostitute and a journalist -- they got two for the price of one.

sister.susie said...

Thanks for the info and the links. It's been helpful, and I'm still delving, but this is all so very discouraging.

I don't know how these people, the bribers and the bribees, sleep at night. You'd think (wish) the huge wads of dirty dough in their pockets would make for restless nights...

And in the case of Gannon (a Bush favourite in press conferences) -- a prostitute and a journalist -- they got two for the price of one.

Touchée, Redsock.

L-girl said...

And in the case of Gannon (a Bush favourite in press conferences) -- a prostitute and a journalist -- they got two for the price of one.

Touchée, Redsock.


He wasn't being metaphoric, either. Gannon (whose real name is Guckert) worked for a gay escort service. Which would be neither here nor there, if the people he worked for in his fake-journalist life weren't anti-gay, anti-sex, hypocrites.

L-girl said...

I'm still delving, but this is all so very discouraging.

It's the tip of the iceberg of the massive propaganda campaign. As Allan mentioned, most of them don't have to be paid off. They've forgotten what their jobs are supposed to be, and just run government information as if it's fact.

sister.susie said...

I see the point. It's easier to cut and paste propaganda than to do the work required of a responsible journalist. *sigh*

L-girl said...

Yes. Easier, doesn't threaten your access, doesn't upset your corporate sponsors.

redsock said...

Better links:

Wikipedia and a snip from Bernstein's Rolling Stone article.

Very depressing. And since five or six mega corporations now control virtually all the TV news and mainstream magazines and newspapers in the US, it has become far worse than when this was reported in the late 1970s.

sister.susie said...

Thanks again for the links. Yes, disturbing, but interesting info.

Which, if any, mainstream news agencies do you feel are trustworthy? Just curious...

L-girl said...

Good question. I'm thinking.

. . .

Nothing on US TV. Non-US sources over US sources: CBC, BBC, Reuters. Major newspapers are ok for basic facts, but I trust columnists and opinion journals more - nonprofits like Harper's, and the Nation.

Anyone else want to answer this?

redsock said...

I don't trust any US media -- at all. I assume they (like the political party that kiss up to) are not telling the truth right off the bat.

The best thing to do -- and something no one has time to do -- is to read 20 accounts of every event from papers around the world and then try to sort out what is likely the real news.