Sunday, June 12, 2005

To Learn What's Going On in America, Read the British Press


Would you like to know what's happening in American politics and government these days? Then look to the British media.

Once upon a time, we Americans could count on depending on our nation's press to keep us informed about what was happening in our country. But those days are over. In fact, since George W. Bush first took office, if you'd limited yourself to reading the U.S. press, then you would have missed many of the biggest stories of our time.

Take the story of the 2000 presidential election and how it was stolen by the GOP. This major story got virtually zero coverage in the U.S. media. Working in the British media, American journalist Greg Palast did some wonderful, hard-hitting, investigative reporting on the election theft. But there was only one problem.

As Palast pointed out in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, his 2003 book:

"In the USA, it ran on page zero--the story was simply not covered in American newspapers. The theft of the presidential race in Florida also grabbed big television coverage. But again, it was the wrong continent: on BBC Television, broadcasting from London worldwide---everywhere, that is, but the USA."

In retrospect, it shouldn't really be surprising that the U.S. media has ignored the Downing Street Memo story. Or that we Americans are having to look to the British press (the London Times in this instance) to find out what's going on in our own country.

The fact is, that the U.S. media has snoozed through all the important stories of the Bush administration. If important stories weren't picked up by the bloggers (like the Jeff Gannon bombshell) or the European press, then, they simply have not been covered at all.

And what "news" the U.S. media has reported has in many cases turned out to be flawed, or flat-out wrong. Take the Jessica Lynch fairy tale, for example. The U.S. media swallowed the Pentagon's version of this story whole and it wasn't until the BBC took a look that Americans learned the truth.

Far more seriously, the U.S. media, far from serving in a watchdog role, has actively worked to provide crucial support to the Bush Administration.

Recall how, in the buildup to the Iraqi war, the U.S. media did little more than stand on the sidelines, acting as a cheerleader, instead of investigating Bush's claims about the WMD issue.

On May 26, 2004, in a stunning and unprecedented half-page correction, The New York Times basically admitted that ALL of its pre-war coverage was seriously flawed.

Why is it that we Americans can't be reliably informed by our nation's own media?

Palast himself has an interesting observation to make about this problem. He notes that Britain's Guardian and Observer newspapers are the world's only major newspapers owned by a not-for-profit corporation. He notes:

"If the Rupert Murdochs of the globe are shepherds of the New World Order, they owe their success to breeding a flock of docile sheep---snoozy editors and reporters content to munch on, digest, then reprint a diet of press releases and canned stories provided by government and corporate public-relations operations."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The housing crisis was the first sign of a coming economic crisis. But the crisis was not that houses could not sale; nor was it that housing markets accidentally collapsed. The Housing market changed as the result of a deliberate effort on the part of congress to crash the market. This crashing of the market created within the minds of Americans a mirage; a mirage that said "I need the government.
Barack Obama, years before becoming a Senator worked with the Acorn program in an effort to change lending practices. The change eventually came about and large loans were given to people (not accidentally mind you) who the lenders knew could not pay.
In addition to these efforts the United States and the UK also set up lending for people who were Islamic; loans that required no interest.
Furthermore, large Condos, Motels, recreational properties, and business complexes were erected. In other words loans were given for projects that would never get off the ground. There simply was no demand for the supply.
Every market and every economy works from this premise, "Supply and Demand."
None of this was caused by over aggressive speculation. It was all the result of a mentality that desires more control over the American people.
This problem cannot and will not be resolved by putting Republicans in office. Neither will it be corrected by leaving Democrats in office.
The idea of a stimulus may not have been altogether a bad idea if indeed this was simply an unseen crisis. But this crisis was not a hurricane induced crisis. It was not an act of nature.
This crisis is an assault on the American people and their way of life. If Americans don't act now there will not be a true election in 4 years. The deck is stacked, and now the government is going to say we must tax you to pay this deficit. I say let them pay it. After all, they continue to vote raises for themselves as the American people suffer hardship.
Red and yellow black and white, listen to this, "Uncle Sam wants you, and he means business."