Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dead man writing

Writing in The Guardian (the British waaaay leftwing, American bashing tabloid) writer George Monbiot states in his article A Televisual Fairyland that
On Thursday, the fairy king of fairyland will be recrowned.
Mr. Monbiot then plaintively begs,
How did this happen? How did a fantasy president from a world of make believe come to govern a country whose power was built on hard-headed materialism?
He offers the following, which he describes as "squalid little stories" 1.) The CBS Rathergate fraud and, 2.) The Armstrong Williams payola debacle.

Now, before I set out to ridicule Mr. Monbiot, I did a little research into his background. This from his autobiography as published at monbiot.com
During seven years of investigative journeys in Indonesia, Brazil and East Africa, he was shot at, beaten up by military police, shipwrecked and stung into a poisoned coma by hornets. He came back to work in Britain after being pronounced clinically dead in Lodwar General Hospital in north-western Kenya, having contracted cerebral malaria.
The guy's dead! I didn't know that dead writers could still write. I've got to get on down to Barnes and Noble to snatch up Dostoevsky's latest and I just can't wait for Capote to put the finishing touches on "Smith and Hickock, Where Are They Now?".

Anyway, Mr. Monbiot blames the reelection of Mr. Bush on a fully discredited anti-Bush CBS report (lamenting the firing of the executives and most especially that of Mary Mapes) and a now discredited conservative commentator. Regarding the CBS fraud, he says,
Republicans were able to point to evidence suggesting the memos had been faked.
Suggesting? The two top document examiners in the land, one paid by CBS itself during its internal investigation, both said that the documents were obvious forgeries. The term "suggesting" was never used. He asks, again plaintively,
How many people have lost their jobs, at CBS or anywhere else, for repeating bogus stories released by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth about Kerry's record in Vietnam?
What bogus stories?
How many were sacked for misreporting the Jessica Lynch affair?
What misreporting would that be?
Or for claiming that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons programme in 2003?
Define "active programme" or program or whatever.
Or that he was buying uranium from Niger (who said that?), or using mobile biological weapons labs
Yeah, fire the entire French, German and Egyptian intelligence services as well as all of Mossad and the CIA.
or had a hand in 9/11?
Again, who said that?
How many people were sacked, during Clinton's presidency, for broadcasting outright lies about the Whitewater affair?
What lies would those be and who broadcast them?
The answer, in all cases, is none.
He then turns his attention to Mr. Armstrong and his unfortunate non-disclosed shilling for the Dept. of Education. He merely decries the fact that America's Black Forum was bought by the Uniworld Group where,
With Williams's help, the new owners have reversed its politics, and turned it into a recruitment vehicle for the Republican party.
These stories, in other words, are illustrations of the ways in which the US media is disciplined by corporate America.
Oh, you mean the way Enron disciplined The Houston Chronicle or the way that Halliburton continues to discipline The NYT? And then he uses, fantastically, the CNN fraud of Operation Tailwind to show how right-wing pressure can bring even a titan like Ted Turner to his knees. If I recall, and I do, CNN's unimpeachable source sued them for libel for "misquoting and misrepresenting" his statements. Go here (pdf) to learn the outcome of that Quixotic venture. Hey! Didn't I hear some other unimpeachable source threatening to sue CBS over the Rathergate fraud for the very same reason?

Well. The Democrats can breathe a long sigh of relief to know that they lost the election not because their candidate was a stiff, nor because their platform appealed to, well, almost no one, nor because their lion-maned Massachusetts billionaire senators had lost touch with America, oh, about 20 years ago, nor because of fraudulently obtained battlefield decorations, nor because of fraternization with an enemy of The United States while officially still in uniform, nor for promising to make The United States subservient to the French and their ilk, nor for insulting teachers and librarians.

No, the Democrats lost the election because the main stream media is disciplined by corporate America.

Too bad the guy didn't just stay dead.

Andrew Sullivan ain't gonna like that "fairy" business.

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