July 24, 2010
In the video clip below, CNN talking heads Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discuss internet journalism and the Sherrod case. “Imagine what would have happened,” says Roberts, “if we hadn’t taken a look at what happened to Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said.”
Too bad this self-righteous attitude was nowhere to be found when it was discovered that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. It was obvious well before Bush and the neocons invaded Iraq that Saddam Hussein did not have nuclear and biological weapons. Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. It did not buy yellow cake in Niger.
In 1995 Gen. Hussein Kamel told U.N. inspectors and the CIA that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles (weapons, incidentally, sold to Hussein by the U.S. and European countries). Even one of then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s analysts, Greg Thielmann, said key evidence cited by the administration was misrepresented to the public.
Everyone knew Saddam did not have WMDs and that includes the corporate media. Tony Blair said Iraq did not have WMDs. Majority Whip at the time, Richard J. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, who was on the Senate intelligence committee, knew Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, who was a member of the National Security Council, said he saw absolutely nothing he would have characterized as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. He also said the neocons planned to invade Iraq well before the attack of September 11, 2001.
In 2008, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan published a memoir. In his book McClellan said that the Iraq invasion and occupation was sold to the American people with a “political propaganda campaign” led by Bush and aimed at “manipulating sources of public opinion” and “downplaying the major reason for going to war.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Following the publication of McClellan’s book more than a few corporate media types admitted acting as “complicit enablers” in the march to slaughter more than a million Iraqis and wreck the country (more than it was already wrecked by a decade of brutal sanctions). Even so, the corporate media generally avoided accepting blame. “There was almost no self-assessment, after five years of war. I observed then that this revealed a disturbing, and continuing, mode of denial or defensiveness,” wrote Greg Mitchell on June 2, 2008.
Tom Brokaw was especially weasel-like in his defense of mass murder. He defended the role of the corporate media as “complicit enabler” for warmongers and psychopaths.
“All wars are based on propaganda. John Kennedy launched the beginning of our war in Vietnam by talking about the domino theory and embracing the Green Berets. Lyndon Johnson kept it up and so did Richard Nixon. World War II–a lot of that was driven by propaganda, and suppressing things that people should have known at the time. So people should not be surprised by that,” he told Brain Williams. “In this business we often bump up against what I call the opaque world. The White House has an unbelievable ability to control the flow of information at any time but especially at a time when they are planning to go to war.”
Now a sanctimonious corporate media has the audacity to criticize bloggers for getting a bureaucrat fired. As painful as that experience was for Ms. Sherrod, at least she is alive. Her family was not killed by “smart bombs.” Her kids don’t have cancer from depleted uranium. She can flick a switch and there will be electricity in her home. Chances are very remote she will be killed by a suicide bomber when she shops for groceries.
Tom Brokaw and the corporate media are in large part responsible for mass murder and war crimes.
But you won’t hear Kyra Phillips and John Roberts talk about it. Instead, they will beat up on bloggers and for good reason — they alternative media is about to put the teleprompter reading class on the unemployment line.
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