For the last three years the mainstream American press has been cheerleading Bush and co. with sickening displays of blind patriotism, stupidity and twisted logic. And profit of course. Last year, both Time and Newsweek had cover stories on every member of the Bush gang, one after the other. I remember at the time telling my uncle that this was the worst writing I’d ever read in my life. Even Stalin struggled to have copy writers produce such glowing platitudes.
As for the Iraq war, at times it seemed like the US media had more generals and colonels on its payroll planning attacks than the pentagon itself! Newsweek, Time, and others all had glowing visions of grandeur about the war. That was still digestible. The Church of Bush was bad enough, but what made me literally puke were the hero worship stores of Donald Rumsfield and his genius in everything he touched. These (numerous) stories made me seriously question the sanity of the people writing them, and pity the ones who believed them. As for Bush and company, kudos to them for pulling off one of the most impressive ‘nation-washing’ and press/people engineering operations in history.
Anyways, as expected, Bush and co. started their international wrecking spree and the ratings began to fall. The American media keeps a very sharp eye on them indeed. Pretty soon they’re going to have near instantaneous feedback and change their stories as they write them to better ‘reflect the national mood’. Anyways, over the last few weeks as the ratings fell, the media starting dipping its toes into the Anti-Bush pool. As the “ratings reached 50”:http://www.dailykos.com/archives/004193.html, they started wading in, yet many just stood there shivering. No more. The “latest f**k up”:http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030815.html by the White House seems to have pushed them all into the deep end and there’s no getting out of this one now that the “Plame Affair Finally gets Legs”:http://www.dailykos.com/archives/004354.html.
The current reaction say’s worlds about the US press. Way back in July when it was revealed hardly anyone reacted. The ratings were still too high. Now that it’s _safe_, they’re running not only with this, but “Iraq”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/world/2003_08/iraq_predictions.html also.
Even conservatives are seeing the light and finally questioning Bush and co:
bq. If it is nevertheless true, however — an important “if” — then a Pandora’s box gets opened by asking this question: if the White House was willing to commit an overtly illegal act in dealing with such a piddling matter, what lines have they crossed on not-so-piddling matters? In other words, *if this turns out to be true, then suddenly do all of the crazy conspiracy theories acquire a thin veneer of surface plausibility?*
>> ” Daniel Drezner: What could cause me to switch parties”:http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/000767.html
p. Getting back to the mainstream media, literally every news outlet if jumping on the Plame bandwagon. When “Newsweek”:http://www.msnbc.com/news/972362.asp?0cv=KB10 and “Time”:http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101031006/story.html have both done an about turn then you know for sure that it’s all over for Bush. Of course, it’s not just that, it helps that this reads like something out of John Le Carre! The three words woman, wife and spy is enough to get the people at Fox foaming at the mouth once they get it through their thick skulls that the target is now Bush.
bq.. This story has legs for various reasons, but the biggest? Everyone loves a good mystery. DC is bustling with speculation over who did the leaking. There are lots of people asking questions. It’s only a matter of time before the names of the leakers are revealed.
And the story is sexy enough that it sells itself: a den of lies, a CIA under assault, spies exposed, operations and human assets revealed, and national security endangered by a rogue, vindictive and morally corrupt administration.
>> “Daily Kos: It’s a real-life John Le Carre novel.”:http://www.dailykos.com/archives/004356.html
p. And to round of things, other people in the “blogosphere”:http://blogdex.net/ are also talking about Big Media:
bq.. Incidentally, while it’s good to see Cheney’s lies getting A1 treatment at the Washington Post, it does beg the question — why weren’t they this aggressive before the war?
We might’ve been able to prevent the Iraq quagmire (At least six dead, seven wounded Americans in the past five days, and another assassination attempt on an Iraqi on the ruling council).
So where was the Post? Cheerleading the war, of course. While the blogosphere knew the administration was sowing lie after lie to sell its war, busily piecing together the truth, the WaPo and othe Big Media outlets were too busy encouraging Bush’s warmongering.
But late is better than never, I suppose.
>> “Daily Kos: Cheney behind Iraq/Al Qaeda lies”:http://www.dailykos.com/archives/004357.html#004357
p. Late *is* better than never, but “Iraq’s burning”:http://www.riverbendblog.blogspot.com/, the US economy is “not in the best of shape”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/world/2003_08/iraqus_roundup.html and the US might just be at its lowest ever international ratings. This is going to be a long and interesting story.
Some current reactions on the web:
bq. It’s been interesting, to say the least: reading the right-wing apologentsia on the Valerie Plame affair. It’s too complicated; it “doesn’t make sense.” It’s only the Bush haters, looking desperately for anything to hang on his administration. And they’re demanding a standard of proof that was lacking for even the most lurid of anti-Clinton allegations. After all, these people are the ones who brought morals back to the White House.
>> “THE BEAT GOES ON”:http://suburbanguerrilla.blogspot.com/2003_09_28_suburbanguerrilla_archive.html#106483496103654408
p. *Update:* “Kevin Drum has a useful roundup and takedown”:http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002284.html of the obfuscation and fallacy being tossed into the mix from administration apologists desperately trying to establish that the Plame Affair either doesn’t matter or didn’t really happen. [via “Pudding Time”:http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002284.html]