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Ear to the Ground

Team Obama vs. Fox News: Squabblefest 2009 Continues

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Posted on Oct 19, 2009
Axelrod
abcnews.go.com/thisweek

Obama adviser David Axelrod gives an off-camera George Stephanopolous a look of—restrained disdain? Amusement, perhaps?—on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Key members of the Obama administration have escalated the feud between their camp and Fox News by encouraging other networks to give their right-leaning competitor the cold newsy shoulder, prompting an indignant Karl Rove to remark, via Fox News, that said Obama aides are “going to cut your legs off” if they’re opposed—a curious comment coming from someone still picking pieces of other people’s legs out of his teeth. 

For a less Murdochian take on the matter, click here—KA

Fox News:

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN on Sunday that President Obama does not want “the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox.”

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is “not a news organization.”

“Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way,” Axelrod counseled ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “We’re not going to treat them that way.”

[...] Fox News contributor Karl Rove, who was the top political strategist to former President George W. Bush, said: “This is an administration that’s getting very arrogant and slippery in its dealings with people. And if you dare to oppose, they’re going to come hard at you and they’re going to cut your legs off.”

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, November 5, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

Manchild,

I note that you are unable to dispute even a single observation I’ve made on this subject.

I’ll assume you’ve never been made aware of the facts “behind the news” in regards to Hussein’s own religiosity and reliance on twisting the true teachings of Islam for his own protection and goals.

It seems MSNBC, the Democratic Underground and Micheal Moore have all ill served you.

May I suggest you actually pick up and read an intelligence report, watch and study actual congressional testimony and, most importantly, shy away from the 20 minute news cycle?

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By ardee, November 5, 2009 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, November 4 at 11:58 am #

You never fail to impress me with your deep knowledge of all things, Manchild.

Thanks ever so much. I wish I could say that your silly distortions and half truths are equally “impressive”, but, sadly, as one of many here, I think, who see through your transparencies and half truths, I simply cannot return the compliment. Your efforts are sad in fact.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 4, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

The Double Standard About Journalists’ Bias
By John Stossel

I made The New York Times last week. It even ran my picture. My mother would be proud.

Unfortunately, the story was critical. It said, “Critics have leaped on Mr. Stossel’s speaking engagements as the latest evidence of conservative bias on the part of Fox.”..........

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/04/the_double_standard_about_journalists_bias__99003.html

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By Go Right Young Man, November 4, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

You never fail to impress me with your deep knowledge of all things, Manchild.

There were never 30,000-40,000 Fedayeen Saddam steeped in Islamic religiosity and loyal only to the Presidential Palace. The world didn’t see dozens of internal Iraqi photographs of Fedayeen draped in traditional religious insignia praying for martyrdom. The Fedayeen were not trained in religious madras’s in order to foster loyalty to Saddam Hussein. Saddam himself didn’t incessantly speak of Islam, the Mahdi and the five pillars of Islam. Saddam wasn’t quoted in Iraqi State run newspapers operated by Uday Hussein calling for “All Good Arab Brothers To Attack U.S. Interests Around The World”.

The United Nations was lying when it reported a non-aggression pact between Saddam’s Republican Guard and al Qaeda types. Abu Nidal didn’t actually live in a State subsidized apartment in the affluent Mansoor district of Baghdad. Abu Musab Zarqawi, a suspected al-Qaeda affiliate and chemical and biological weapons specialist, never traveled to Iraq.  Al-Zarqawi didn’t plan the October 2002 assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan or set up a camp in Ansar al-Islam’s territory to train terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. Al Zarqawi wasn’t known to travel with an Iraqi passport.

Documents found by the United Nations (Post Saddam) indicating that senior Iraqi and al-Qaeda leaders had met at least eight times in the 1990’s were nothing but wide spread neo-con lies.

You’re right, Manchild. History itself demands that your coveted media sources are far more reliable than Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence. Certainly better than U.N. Human Rights Commission studies. Believing our own eyes is useless next to MSNBC.

I remain impressed with how you willfully and carefully choose your information in order to keep to your beliefs.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 4, 2009 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

DBM—“I’m not sure how not having read the writings of Osama Bin Laden or the Muslim Brotherhood precludes me from objecting to the catch-all phrase “Islamo-fascism”.  Is that how they refer to themselves?? Without having read them, I imagine not ... but look at what you’re saying…...”

(Smile)...or you could ask how I define fascism in lieu of telling me how I define it. Repeating your claim that my use of the term is mere rhetoric signals the end of listening. How do we hold a true discourse that way?

Why dismiss what I wrote and inject Hamas in my definition of Islamo-Fascism after I was clear on which individuals and groups I was referring to? I didn’t mention Hamas.

I twice posed a few questions regarding Usama bin Laden in order to set the table to make a point (Saddam/bin Laden). Twice now you’ve ignored the questions. Again, how do we hold a conversation that way?

Am I incorrect in believing your interest is more in you telling me what I may be saying or thinking over simply asking or listening?

In a recent post you asked to talk about Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. I was looking forward to that conversation.

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By ardee, November 4, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

Well said DBM:

How do or did I perceive Saddam as a threat?  A local thug, more worried about Iran and Saudi Arabia and Syria than about the U.S.

Further he was an implacable foe of Islamist extremism and none were found in Iraq while he ruled there. That he ruled as a torturer and a murderer seems an internal problem for the citizenry of Iraq to change rather than a reason to invade that nation ,especially considering the mountain of lies concocted to sway opinion towards said invasion.

What we did was to simply remove the most stalwart foe of AlQaeda in that region. Puzzling…maybe.

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

My second para was getting back around to Fox ... if we’ve left that behind so be it!

I’m not sure how not having read the writings of Osama Bin Laden or the Muslim Brotherhood precludes me from objecting to the catch-all phrase “Islamo-fascism”.  Is that how they refer to themselves?? Without having read them, I imagine not ... but look at what you’re saying.  Neither Al Qaeda nor the Muslim Brotherhood is even a country let alone a fascist state.  Hamas sort of has a country (Gaza) but isn’t Fascist.  If you use the term “Islamo-fascism” you are juxtaposing Islam with Fascism.  If you are refering to a particular fascist state that is Islamic that might be different but to talk in general of “Islamo-Fascism” without even an example is rhetoric. 

Now, as to relative threats:

Al Qaeda and in a different way the Muslim Brotherhood have directly threatened the West.  Hamas, the Taliban and before them the PLO are local movements which only threaten the West because they live near oil we want and need.  Take away the oil and I think they would be no more relevant than Congolese militias.  One can assume that Al Qaeda would still be a threat no matter what the U.S. did.  I agree a very hard one to contain or destroy, hence the suggestion that exploring the roots of terrorism is a good idea.  I don’t anticipate that being easy or quick but I think solely military solutions (like “surges” in foreign countries) are naive if dealing with terrorism is the objective.

How do or did I perceive Saddam as a threat?  A local thug, more worried about Iran and Saudi Arabia and Syria than about the U.S. ... a tool of the U.S. who was didn’t understand the role he was expected to play and over-stepped it.  The whole situation in that part of the world (from the U.S. foreign policy perspective) seems to be about Israel, Iran and Oil.  That Saddam had any genuine interest in attacking the U.S. seems implausible (illeducated and limited in vision though he was).  I expect he was much more interested in ensuring that his own people were subjugated and that Iran saw his armies as powerful enough to avoid.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Trying my best to keep us on topic.

How are you arguing against my use of the term Islamo-fascism if you’re unfamiliar with the individuals or movements that are our self described enemies? And who here is arguing that the teachings of someone such as Dr. Zawahiri effect an entire nation’s peoples or policy? It’s certainly not me. I wrote nothing of the kind.

Are you certain you’re not simply being contrary for the sake of it?

You asked to talk about Saddam and al Qeada. Your second paragraph has me baffled.

Is Usama Bin Laden a threat? If not? why not? If so what makes him dangerous? If he’s a threat today what are you prepared to do about it?

Keep our posts brief, frank and on topic?

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Bad tangent on Katrina ... the only point was the honesty Geraldo showed under pressure contrasted with the party line at a later date.  Whether he had a correct assessment on either occasion is immaterial.

Now, the answer to your question is “No”.  I haven’t the “teachings” of those people you listed (some of whom I don’t even recognise).  I am genuinely impressed that you’ve taken the time to do so.  Most people would jump to conclusions without having done so and as I haven’t myself, I guess I’m one of those.  I think it is genuinely useful to read the writings of and to converse with people you disagree with.  Have you also read John Birch and Leo Strauss?  Would you characterise the entire United States as [fill in you loaded epithet here] based on their philosophies?  I am far from Anti-American because I may disagree with many foreign policy decisions the U.S. has taken and I have been no fan of the neo-conservative economic polices of every president since 1980.  But I see the U.S. in a much more complicated way.  I spent much of my life there and I’m very integrated with the country personall so that is easy.  I think it is harder to see the differences and comlexities of societies which are different from ourselves.  I would ask if you’ve ever read Robert Fisks ““The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East”?  An excellent resource from someone who has spent his whole working life in the region.

I heard an interesting talk the other day in which someone you would consider very “left” correctly, I think, said that the position of the Tea Bag protesters and Town Hall disrupters is entirely logically consistent.  Like the rest of us, these people have seen their lifestyle deteriorate.  2 generations ago, one person could support a middle class family with a decent job.  Then it started to take a full-time plus a part-time job and nowadays it is often if not usually 2 full-time jobs required to achieve the same standard of living.  With the erosion of savings, 401K’s and so forth even this is not proving to be enough.  They are pissed!  They should be!  There is the slight problem that they’ve been led to believe that other people like minorities and immigrants have taken their piece of the pie (through affimative action and illegal work undercutting jobs) aided and supported by “Liberals”.  On that I think they are incorrect but logically consistent.  To bring this full-circle:  That is Fox News’ primary audience!

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

The term Fascism means different things to different people. We can find dozens of definitions today. Have you followed the teachings of those I’ve mentioned?

You write: “Where I see “starve the beast”, “make government small enough to drown in a bathtub”, “private is always better than government ... at anything”, I suspect you see fiscal restraint, common sense and sound policy.”

You mentioned Katrina to make a point. It’s not an issue I was remotely thinking about. I’m unclear how any of the above is germane to anything I’ve written.

My point was a simple one. I urge you to read the PDF file I shared. We can literally interchange that report on Andrew with that of Katrina. Events separated by several years and different presidencies. We can literally do the same with hurricane Hugo or the San Francisco earthquake. How is it possible to make the issue a referendum on a sitting president? Obviously it’s not.

Food for thought. As far back as 35 years the federal government, including FEMA, have advised people to fully expect to be on their own for the first 72 hours. Why is that? It seems clear to me that it’s an historic fact. It’s not the man in the Oval. It’s obviously an systemic problem. We should address that!

Ok. al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Is Usama Bin Laden a threat? If not? why not? If so what makes him dangerous? If he’s a threat today what are you prepared to do about it?

Keep our posts frank and brief?

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

There are plenty of states with Islamic majorities.  Plenty with religious fanatics.  Plenty with violent minorities.

I’m not sure I see a monolithic movement of “Fascism” in any of that ...

It’s just rhetoric.

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

fascism [(fash-iz-uhm)]


A system of government that flourished in Europe from the 1920s to the end of World War II. Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Spain under Franco were all fascist states. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation, such as the Jews in Germany. Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”), which is the cornerstone of fascism. Whereas communists are considered left-wing, fascists are usually described as right-wing.

Note: Today, the term fascist is used loosely to refer to military dictatorships, as well as governments or individuals that profess racism and that act in an arbitrary, high-handed manner.

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

I’d rather not get into the debate about hurricanes.  That is symptomatic of another area of difference which we no doubt have but would have to debate at considerable length!  Where I see “starve the beast”, “make government small enough to drown in a bathtub”, “private is always better than government ... at anything”, I suspect you see fiscal restraint, common sense and sound policy.

Let’s talk Saddam and Al Qaida!

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Replace the phrase “Hurricane Andrew” with “Hurricane Katrina”. Or, if you like, do the same exorcise with “Hurricane Hugo” and/or “Hurricane Ike”. Makes no difference.

“The fury of Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Iniki, Hurricane Hugo, the Los Angeles Riots, and the San Francisco earthquake can not be equaled by the feelings some devastated disaster victims have towards our nation’s lead emergency management agency. Pointed criticism and tales of ineptitude, insensitively, and “foot-dragging” continue to plague the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it’s leadership.

“One of the most basic problems, and most frequent criticisms of FEMA is that they aren’t prepared for those critical first, few, days after a major disaster occurs”, according to Clark Staten of the Chicago-based Emergency Response & Research Institute. “This was particularly true of Hurricane Andrew, where local emergency response agencies were unable to provide even the very rudimentary rescue/medical care services that were required”, Staten continued. “Unfortunately, people seem to have developed an attitude that FEMA and the U.S. Military can come and `rescue’ them within a moments’ notice…when that doesn’t happen they are disappointed, hurt, and angry”, the veteran emergency manager added. “

http://www.emergency.com/

250,000 people were left homeless.

“The evacuation of people from low-lying areas before Hurricane Andrew struck had been highly successful. During the first hundred hours after the storm, however, relief efforts proved inadequate. There were many reasons for this. A major storm had not hit South Florida since the mid-1960s, and an entire generation had grown up with no experience of hurricanes. In addition, the exceptional force of the storm and the fact that it covered an area of twenty-five to thirty miles, from downtown Miami south to Homestead, created special logistical problems.

Many of the problems that related to mounting the initial relief effort after the storm had to do with jurisdictional disputes and administrative incompetence. Metro Dade mayor Steve Clark failed to provide leadership. The relief efforts of volunteer agencies such as the American Red Cross were not coordinated with the efforts being made by the military. There were also questions over federal versus state and local jurisdiction. All these issues contributed to the confusion and lack of effective response in the first week after Andrew. “
http://www.upf.com/mkt/samples/provenzo.html

This PDF file is particularly enlightening when we consider when it was written.

[PDF]
University of Delaware Disaster Research Center PRELIMINARY PAPER ..http://dspace.udel.edu:8080/dspace/bitstream/19716/569/3/PP181.pdf

Conclusion: The notion that anyone, for any reason, would find blame in a small number of people, in this case the evil Bush White House, is pure and unadulterated balderdash.

I feel compelled to repeat myself here. Not only is this behavior disgusting partisan politics, it’s useless to us all.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Oh Lord…LOL the usual refrain from, excuse me but, the Left, The Blame America First crowed. The United States as the global villain. On that we will never agree. I see only self-loathing in that view. It’s a view we will not be sharing.

Islamo-Fascism is not a catch phrase. I’ve read the teachings of Dr, Zawahiri, bin Laden, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi and Mohammad Taha. I’ve read the charter of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I’ve studied the teachings of the Islamic Dawa Party and Jaish Abu Bakr. You make a tremendous mistake in believing my position is an attack on Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth. That is YOUR perception and you’ll not hear me if you keep it.

Now I will take you to task smile

Let me get this straight. After Hurricane Hugo. After Hurricane Andrew. You and others have a desire to blame a small handful of people for the complete breakdown of emergency services after the largest natural disaster in American history? You are somehow SURPRISED in the Local, State and Federal Governments response(s)? I find the logic quite ridiculous. That, my friend, is pure “heaping on” the people you desire to dislike. No matter how much or how often we here it, it’s simply ridiculous.

Here’s the thing. If you look up Andrew and Hugo you’ll find the exact same problems, the exact same criticisms, the exact same breakdown of services, although on a smaller scale, as we witnessed during and after Hurricane Katrina. The rest is short sighted media hyperbole turned common knowledge. In fact I find it quite disgusting and useless.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

DBM,

I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. We obviously agree on some basic goals but differ in how we approach them.

From my perspective Saddam Hussein was one of the most demanding issues needing attention. Yes, particularly after Sept. 2001. No, it had nothing, whatsoever, to do with President Bush. I believed in the threat that was Saddam Hussein years before Bush ran for president. I do not believe President Clinton, the Congress, the United Nations, France, Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and others were lying.

I do not believe that “al Qaeda” is a singular entity that can be jailed or eliminated. And, as odd as it is to some, I do not believe, even after Sept. 2001, that al Qaeda was the more pressing danger to the globe. It is of the utmost importance to realize that “al Qaeda types” (there are many) operated in over 60 nations. Half of which supported Islamo-fascism against the West. The target was not, and is not today, Usama bin Laden.

Would you agree that our true differences lay in our basic threat assessments?

Again, my apologies for the confusion.

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By DBM, November 3, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Well, no problem, let me address that one too as best I can!

I think there are times when sudden events strike that the shock and surprise strips away learned constructs and the “world views” that we’ve been discussing, leaving the essential humanity that is in almost all people.  9/11 was one of those moments.  The disgust that was felt so widely across the world would have made it very difficult for world leaders and regimes who had allowed or abetted terrorism to avoid changing course.  If these regimes were impervious to their own people, who as I’ve said were fully behind the U.S. and against terrorism, they would nonetheless have been subject to pressure from pretty much every other nation they dealt with, traded with and were allied to.  It was a massive opportunity.  It may not have produced results but I believe that sinking 1/100th of the funding and effort that has gone into war-making into a huge co-ordinated policing effort focused on the specific terrorists would have been well worth trying and could not have had worse results than the predictable disasters of invasion.  At the same time, and perhaps more far-fetched, a genuine effort to address the root causes of terrorism may also have been worthwhile.

A smaller scale analogy of the “window” familiar to Fox viewers was in the the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane.  I remember Geraldo (? the guy with the mustache) being truly moved and expressing dismay at the lack of emergency services in the face of the human disaster he was witnessing.  I also remember that he had to do penance for criticising a Republican administration’s efforts.  The next time there was a serious hurricane warning (about a year later) he was there again on the streets of New Orleans saying how the emergency services were ready this time and everything was like a well-oiled machine ... not that the hurricane ever hit!  That first period, when even the hard-liners were able to say that “the Emperor had no clothes” was a period when perhaps some things could have been fixed ... that one was missed too!

To be fair there is some personal opinion in that but I don’t think the opportunities can be wasted.

Lastly, let me take you to task a little bit!

You refer to “the problem of Islamo-fascism” ... please ... this is a stupid catch-phrase intended to demonise a religion.  Fascism is the control of government by corporations.  It would be more accurately applied to current day United States than to Islamic states or other countries whose main religion is Islam.  To me this is just a sloppy meaningless juxtaposition of two things (one of which is associated with the Axis powers of WWII - the last war people felt “good” about and sure they were on the right side of) with the intent of demonisation by association.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 3, 2009 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

I apologize, DBM, that’s not what I meant. There was actually another paragraph written that somehow failed to post. Not sure how that happened. Thank you for the many links. I read them all.

I was speaking to your basic premise wherein the world was poised to work in concert to attack the problem of Islamo-fascism. The idea that the U.S. somehow “wasted” an opportunity. The theory that well founded and wide-spread sympathy would, if not for Bush, translate into long term tangible action.

I apologies again.

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By ardee, November 3, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

DBM, November 2 at 11:53 pm

I must thank you for the truth as opposed to what your adversary posts…..I had begun to post the noting of that candlelight march in Tehran in support of the USA after 9/11 but quickly realized that most of us know what was posted was a biased and untruthful opinion so I didn’t.

Perhaps the truth must be heard, but perhaps , in some cases, ignoring such propagandists is a far better truth…..still deciding.

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

A thoughtful discussion of the Egyptian reaction

http://conconflicts.ssrc.org/archives/mideast/shehata/

While Egypt has been a staunch U.S. ally and large recipient of aid since Sadat made his famous trip to Israel, this is also the country which gave birth to the Muslim Brotherhood (arguably the intellectual underpinning of much muslim extremism).

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

With respect to the Palestinian reaction to 9/11:

http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=pmt&folder=891&paper=1137

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Are you seriously unaware of the enormous world reaction in 2001?  That didn’t make a massive impact on U.S. media coverage at the time?? 

Wow!  That’s media bias taken to new heights ...

The international reaction was immediate, unequivocal and nearly universal.  To get some contemporaneous news about it you can do a search on “9/11 world reaction” or similar and find lots of material from that period.  A very quick and superficial search came up with:

The predicatably positive official reactions from all world leaders ... but note also the resolve to DO something about terrorism this time.

http://www.september11news.com/InternationalReaction.htm

A fairly even handed account from Wikipedia:

“The attacks were denounced by mass media and governments worldwide. Across the globe, nations offered pro-American support and solidarity.[158] Leaders in most Middle Eastern countries, and Afghanistan, condemned the attacks. Iraq was a notable exception, with an immediate official statement that “the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity”.[159] Another publicized exception was the celebration of some Palestinians[160] and Serbians[citation needed].”

It is only fair to note of those three exceptions that two had been bombed recently by the U.S., one was suffering from both the bombing and terrible hardships due to sanctions (arguably more Iraqis died from the sanctions that month than died in the 9/11 attacks) and the other group were kept stateless or occupied (depending on how you look at it) by an American backed regime.

A very interesting case in point is the reaction by Iranians http://www.time.com/time/europe/photoessays/vigil/

There has been a lot written on this subject from the Iranian point of view http://www.iranian.com/reaction.html  (these are American Iranians but my Persian isn’t that good!).
This one is typical:  http://www.iranian.com/Features/2001/September/World/index.html

It is sad to see where this got to in only a year (and before the Iraqi invasion):
http://www.iranian.com/AhmadSadri/2002/September/911/index.html
http://www.iranian.com/DariusKadivar/2002/September/911/index.html

With respect to the support and the outpouring of compassion, I could go on for pages and pages.  If you were in the U.S. in 2001 and were truly unaware of it that is an incredible failing of media coverage.  I’m still floored.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

DBM,—“If you think about it, Shiite and Sunni were both horrified by 9/11.  Israelis and Palestinians were both horrified.  Western Europeans, Russians, the Chinese, Pakistanis, Indians ... for a brief moment there was near universal agreement that the violence should be stopped”.

Where do you get your evidence that the above is true? I’m not saying that it’s entirely wrong but, how do you know this theory, and it is just a theory, is correct?

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

One more point, Go Right.

You have a couple of times justified positions by saying something to the effect that (as in a recent comment) “90 nations” were [fill in the blank].  I have said “the U.S. [fill in the blank]”.

The U.S. has enormous leverage over other governments ecnomically and militarily.  With the Iraq invasion as a case in point, there was a “coalition of the willing” comprised of Britain, Australia and Spain (against the clear wishes of their own populations) and a number of smaller weaker countries strong-armed into compliance (also against the clear wishes of their own populations) who openly support the U.S. (with the clear support of the American population).

I do not consider the American people to be more violent or more stupid that the rest of the world.  I would suggest that they are less well-informed ... and that is what this whole conversation is about!

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Settle my friends!  Let’s stick to the arguments.

I don’t have time to address every thread of conversation but as usual have a couple of observations to drop in the mix ...

A good link, Go Right, to the NY Times article about the growing dichotomy of news viewers.  I find this sort of reporting immensely frustrating!  Many reporters and papers are terrified of being accused of partisanship.  Hence any story has to be presented as “he said, she said” without addressing the facts or even attempting to portray the “truth”.  In this case, the writer had made an illogical leap that because the political affiliations of media consumers have become more pronounced that obviously both “sides” of the media are reporting in a similarly partisan way. 

Could it not be that every media outlet except Fox (the article lists CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, CNBC and even Comedy Central) is reporting a load of bogus lies and innuendo leaving only Fox reporting the truth?  That could be the reason that Republicans, who can’t stand the egregious bias of the rest of the media, go to Fox for facts and fair analysis.

It could, on the other hand, be the case the Fox is reporting a load of bogus lies and innuendo leaving everyone except their most loyal viewers to seek reality elsewhere.  A reasonable article would have mentioned the enormous amount of banging on about birth certificates, a muslim background, the spectacular credentials and undoubted leadership/management skills of Sarah Palin, the parade of paid Generals spouting Pentagon talking points, etc. on the Fox side and, if there was a balance to be had, a similar set of complete fabrications without any basis in fact by other outlets. (I’ll let you provide those Go Right ... grin )

You might believe that the middle ground portrayed by the NY Times article is closer to the “truth” ... that could be, but there is no valid logical argument in the article to make the point.

Second point (not quite so pertinent to the article):

Truth do tell, I don’t actually see where Mullah Omar offered to turn over Bin Laden in that article I linked.  What I do see is that under the pressure created by world revulsion at the 9/11 attacks he was taking steps to look at the problem seriously ... and at this stage it was a serious problem for him.  I am not convinced that 3 weeks is enough time to allow any government to do anything it was not already committed to doing (such as bailing out its major campaign contributors ... but that’s another story!).

I am also not on board with the idea of massive military invasions where there are other options.  IMHO, on the 12th of September 2001 the entire world was sympathetic, enraged and motivated to do something about terrorism.  There was an opportunity to put pressure on just about any government in the world to take part in a combined co-ordinated effort to subdue terrorist activities and possibly to address the root causes of terrorism in a meaningful way.  It is a great pity that the world missed that window of opportunity with the U.S. opting instead for using all that great equipment that the military industrial complex had been stockpiling for years and triggering an investment boom in the sector.  In the process, huge swathes of humanity have been completely alienated and antagonisms created or confirmed which will haunt us all for many many years.

If you think about it, Shiite and Sunni were both horrified by 9/11.  Israelis and Palestinians were both horrified.  Western Europeans, Russians, the Chinese, Pakistanis, Indians ... for a brief moment there was near universal agreement that the violence should be stopped.  Why then address the situation by escalating the violence 1,000/fold?

Peace Guys!  ... and give it some thought!

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By Go Right Young Man, November 2, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

If Fox Is Partisan, It Is Not Alone

By JOHN HARWOOD
Published: November 1, 2009

The Obama White House’s decision to challenge Fox News appears driven equally by strategy and frustration. It is also a test case for politicians in both parties….

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/us/politics/02caucus.html?ref=todayspaper

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By Go Right Young Man, November 2, 2009 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Manchild,

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20091028_taliban_targets_un_workers_in_kabul/

After all your high minded self righteousness everyone here now understands what kind of person you are. Priceless! LMAO…........

Ask yourself why you’re the only one I speak to like I do. Literally the only one! There’s a reason for this, Manchild.

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By ardee, November 2, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, November 1 at 10:18 am

Your penchant for ridiculing the truth makes you out to be pretty dumb actually. That DBM posted a link to proof that the offer from the Taliban was made prior to the invasion of Afghanistan slows your torrent of bull not one iota, so sad.

Your radical politics buys you only contempt, as does your penchant for failing to link to proofs of your assertions. I suspect that is because those links would only be found among the extremist sites, thus negating your credibility even further. Below zero in fact.

That the Taliban offer was not genuine cannot be proven simply because we ignored it. Invasion and destruction being so much more profitable after all.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 2, 2009 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

DBM,

It’s your impression that roughly 90 nations in the world are all after one man? That’s never been my impression.

I’ve never suggested that Mullah Omar was in complete control of Afghanistan. Intelligence merely suggests Omar wished to exert control over (the foreigners) bin Laden and others.

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By DBM, November 2, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

I’m sure he said it if you say it’s so!

That is exactly what a leader in that sort of environment would say to try to solidify the impression of (and to some degree the truth of) his authority.

But it raises an interesting question:

Did the U.S. bomb Mullah Omar or an entire nation in the quest to get Osama Bin Laden?  If all power rested with Omar it seems a bit excessive.  It’s not like the Afghans voted for him is it?

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By Go Right Young Man, November 1, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

It seems the best intelligence (sourced by the Foreign Minister in 2001 and others, indicates that before and on Sept. 11 Usama bin Laden lived in Afghanistan “under the roof of his Host”, Mullah Omar, and all that that implies in Afghan culture.

It seems UBL was allowed to stay in the country as long as he remained under the “protection” of Omar.

Apparently Mullah Omar let bin Laden know “there can be only one ruler in Afghanistan”. Try Googling that quote. I think its a proper quote.

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By DBM, November 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

I’ll trust you on the extended process of asking for Bin Laden.  It certainly passes the logic test.

2 qualifications come to mind:

1) Although “The Taliban” is the most centralised power structure in Afghanistan (still, BTW, more than Karzai’s “government”!), it is a hodgepodge of different groups.  As in most semi-feudal societies, authority is absolute at the local level.  i.e. the particular leader harbouring Bin Laden (who you have to assume would be one who would side with him) would have to be convinced to act.  The Sept 11 attacks may have been sufficient to do this ... we’ll never know.

2) Luis Posada Carriles - 30+ years of waiting for extradition ... cause for military action?

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By Go Right Young Man, November 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

The term you were searching for was Loya Jorga in Afghanistan.

If look closely over the history I supplied on this you’ll see how the bin Laden issue -extradition- had been going on years before September 11. More than a year before Clinton left office it became an issue Russia and the United States worked closely on and in concert. It was an issue before the United Nations long before Sept. 11.

The demand for bin Laden to be turned over to the Americans was neither sudden nor solely reactionary. Although I well understand and recall how it appeared that way to the public at large.

The fact truly is that the Taliban had stated themselves numerous times their intentions never to hand bin Laden to anyone. The record on this is unmistakable and clear for all to see.

—-

I generally refrain from saying anything I can’t prove.

U.N. Weapons Inspectors reports and resolutions when you find the time. smile

Maybe look up the 1999 Inspectors report. What did these inspectors from different nations believe Iraq held and/or working on? From what you’ve already shared here I think you’ll be shocked.

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By DBM, November 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Not really wanting to get involved in this exchange but a thought on the Afghan’s genuine willingness to hand over Obama in 2001:

I have not done a big search on Western media’s takes on what was going on as you have Go Right but I recall my thoughts at the time.  You may or may not have included this contemporaneous CNN report

http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/17/afghan.pakistan/

However, I do remember hearing about the process that was going on in Afghanistan at the time.  The country’s religious lead, Omar, convened a formal council of leaders which I cannot recall the name of but which has equivalents in many indiginous tribal societies.  The New Zealand Maori have meeting called a Hui at which leaders meet and debate at some length about important issues.  There are customs which allow most parties to have a say and the intention is to reach a consensus.  Remember that these are societies in which power is distributed.  It is not usual for some central figure to have real authority over the whole.  Leaders emerge through their power to convince through argument and rhetoric.  Behind the scenes, no doubt, there are implied threats and imbalances of power ... “Realpolitik” if you will.

Now, remember also that Afghanistan is a primative country.  The lack of infrastructure that is one reason modern armies have been unable to subjugate it make it difficult for leaders to get to that central place to discuss.  It took time to convene the council.  Also remember that Bin Laden was a local hero after his role in expelling the Soviets from Afghanistan with substantial U.S. involvement.  To turn him over would be something like the Americans turning Lafeyette over to a foreign power in 1785.  It was also true that Bin Laden, who had taken responsibility for many terrorist attacks e.g. U.S. embassy in Kenya) denied responsibility for the September 11 attacks (see link above).  So, this was going to be a drawn out process and it was pretty reasonable that the Afghans asked for evidence against Bin Laden before they were willing to turn him over.

Now before you start saying that this was simply delaying and that there was no intention of doing anything, consider a modern extradition process.  The bombing of Afghanistan commenced on 7 October 2001.  Show me the Western democracy that could go through an extradition process in less than a month and actually hand over the person demanded.  Show me one which would do so when there had been no legal proceedings in the country demanding the extradition; no evidence produced in a court.  If you can show me a country like that, I would suggest that it is a country dangerously short of due process.

So, were the Afghans going to turn over Bin Laden?  Who knows, their process may not have led to that outcome without some evidence being produced which could be used in their council meetings.  They may have stood on their responsibility to a “guest” and a previous saviour of their country even if guilt had been demonstrated.  They may have acceded to the “Realpolitik” that the U.S. had the power to destroy them militarily.  No-one will ever know because the U.S. invasion cut proceedings short.

IMHO, it was a typically colonialist or imperial act which showed complete disregard for Afghan sovereignty.  Although I understood the American desire for revenge on somenoe (anyone) and I know the political pressures that the American leadership was under to act in this way, that was my reading in 2001 and it remains so today.

... you can imagine my opinion of the invasion of Iraq.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 1, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Manchild,

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20091028_taliban_targets_un_workers_in_kabul/


LOL…LMAO…LOL…wait, wait…..Let Me Catch My Breath…..Wait…LMAO….OK, OK…..wait…LOL…..OK…WHO’S THE LIAR TALKING OUT OF HIS SOUTH HOLE? LMAO…...

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By Go Right Young Man, November 1, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Of course the offer to hand over bin Laden was illegitimate because I claim it was. I claim it was illegitimate because the acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan in 2001 has subsequently said it was never a serious offer.

In contrast to that you know I’m wrong on this because you read about the offer and saw it on television eight years ago while the Taliban was being pummeled by the United States. In the world you see the Taliban was being magnanimous while Bush remains the evil villain.

What a simple world you live in.

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By ardee, November 1, 2009 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

And you believe the Taliban’s offer to hand over bin Laden was legitimate…...LMAO

When you cease laughing perhaps yo umight consider that many around you are laughing too, but not with you at all.

So the Taliban’s offer was not genuine because…...you say so….Well done genius.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Yes, yes. All who fail to see things your way are demons, neo-cons and liars. 

And you believe the Taliban’s offer to hand over bin Laden was legitimate…...LMAO

Good God you’re worthless.

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

There is in fact one thing that sets FOX News apart from all other cable and broadcast “news” programing. FOX is singularly and outwardly conservative. The so-called Left seems to genuinely hate this.

Far right may continue to delude himself or attempt to delude others all he wishes. The real objections to Fox have nothing to do with their political leanings but everything to do with their inherent dishonesty. Fox portrays editorializing as straight news, thus fooling folks who think those opinions are actual facts. Sort of like the way this poster presents his OPINION of the reasons many here detest Fox as actual fact…How very Fox-like of you.

I took the pains to post a link to ten examples of this very thing, lies from Fox each one.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 31, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

After I sent my last reply I went back and read some of our posts in this thread. I didn’t have time to write but wish to make a couple brief observations. None of which is pointed at you. You’ve been more than kind and thought provoking.

There is in fact one thing that sets FOX News apart from all other cable and broadcast “news” programing. FOX is singularly and outwardly conservative. The so-called Left seems to genuinely hate this.

Truthdig leans “progressive”. At the same time the bulk of the posts here are filled with righteous indignation and true, authentic, hatred for those who fail to share their views. Ironic, yes? That it’s the most liberal and progressive that appear so judgmental and, well, closed to others points of view? Have you noticed how rampant the viciousness toward ANY conservative who dares speak a different language?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 31, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

DBM,

While I like John Stewart a great deal I won’t be counting on his program for an unbiased opinion on the media…LOL. I did, however, love the piece he did on the subject.

I was under the impression that we had moved on from the FOX News issue. I already know how you feel about FOX. You were clear several times. If I could only get you to understand how roughly 200 million other Americans look on the remaining media. I passionately disagree with anyone who wishes to set FOX apart from others. That, to me, seems like an exercise in bias in and of itself.

So far you have been unable to give me an example of FOX News bias that is not equally met by NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and, most particularly, MSNBC (the 24hr Obama network).

Questions: Have you located and read any of the relevant U.N. resolutions on Iraq’s WMD programs? Most of them were voted unanimously. How would you explain members votes if, as you believe, nobody in the world believed Iraq held banned weapons and programs? How do you explain almost a decade of the United Nations Security Council going along with the Clinton lies regarding Iraq? Why would China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain, along with the others, go along with these U.S. Government lies?

It’s funny. Each time I ask some of these direct and poignant questions of the most ardent Bush critics the subject gets changed. It’s as if authentic honesty doesn’t matter. Not as long as Bush is the evil villain in the story line. Dare to point out how the whole of the United Nations made almost all the same claims and, POOF, end of subject.

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By DBM, October 31, 2009 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Go Right ... my apologies for a couple of days of silence (got to earn a living!).

We seem to have few threads of conversation running at once so I’ll try to address the “one question” you pose in your last post:

“Are you now saying that the “Bush lies” are not Bush lies at all but rather U.S. Government (Clinton, 107th Congress, CIA, NSA, Depts. Def and State) lies dating back to at least the mid 90’s?

This seems contrary to your original point.”

That had me wondering what my original point was!  In my first post on this thread, I tried to make the point that Fox News tells more blatant lies than I see in other sources.  This led to a comparison of the sorts of lies Fox tells with other news outlets.

After some reference to “lots” and “doing for decades” you helpfully provided some examples of what you mean:

“Why can’t you convince me you served in the Air National Guard”? “Why are you part of a crime family”? “Why did you murder ten thousand black people in New Orleans”? “Why is Cheney running the government”? “Why is everyone in your administration criminals”? “Why did you bring down the Twin Towers and blow up the Pentagon”? “Why did you lie to take the world to war to enrich your friends and family”? “Why did you steal two elections?”

These would be interesting to work through one-by-one (did someone really say this? isn’t there quite a lot of truth in that? etc.) but the point remains is Fox different or does point-of-view make all the difference.  In this context, it is interesting to note Fox’s comments on this very topic (the WH comments about Fox).  I know Jon Stewart takes things out of context but in the segments he shows

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20091030_the_daily_show_for_fox_sake/?ln

there are certainly enough references to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Mao’s China.  “Fascism”?  This is all part of a pattern of disinformation which I think is unique to Fox.  I don’t get MSNBC but I would be surprised if they had this level of name-calling and labelling by belaboured associations.

So, to answer your question directly, I think there was a tremendous amount of disinformation about Iraq all through Clinton era so as to justify continued sanctions and low-level military activity.  I have no idea how Fox reported it so I’m not sure if this is relevant to my opinion of them as a news outlet.

A few years ago Rocky Anderson the Mayor of (I think) Salt Lake City had a “debate” with Sean Hannity.  Rocky went first, outlined a number of points and requested that Hannity respond to them.  Hannity then stood up and just went for a character assassination.  The rest of the “debate” was content free and that is the way I hear Fox News.  There is so much Fox “News” time spent trying to construe how every bit of information could be used against someone or something ... usually something Democratic.

In hindsight of the last week, I still think the White House was right to single out Fox News as being particlarly biassed ... but I don’t think it was strategically sucessful. Fox don’t deserve all this priceless publicity!!

Who’s lying? you ask ... and I respond: “Fox is” ... well, they’re lying more obviously and are more partisan than any other TV news channel.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 30, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

I was interested in your answer to one question.

Are you now saying that the “Bush lies” are not Bush lies at all but rather U.S. Government (Clinton, 107th Congress, CIA, NSA, Depts. Def and State) lies dating back to at least the mid 90’s?

This seems contrary to your original point.

We could move on to the issue of terrorism if first we determine who was actually lying. Let me give you a couple more examples: In 2002, after eight years in the White House, after eight years of daily presidential briefings, Former Vice President Al Gore gave a speech in which he said, “Iraq does pose a serious threat’ and ‘Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

Or when we consider that Sen. Edward Kennedy, one of the longest serving in the whole of the congress, after decades of the same intelligence the President of the United States receives as a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee, released a statement which stated: “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.“

So this begs the question. Who’s lying?

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By ardee, October 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

It seems so apropos to borrow from Thomas at this .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)!

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By @CT, October 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

oops! Sorry: bad HTML and a broken link:

Survey: WH v. Fox Flap Got As Much News Coverage As The Swine Flu Last Week
http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/survey-wh-v-fox-flap-got-as-much-news-coverage-as-the-swine-flu-last-week.php

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By @CT, October 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Geraldo At Large must’ve out-ranked the Axelrods’ “epilepsy” reprise on Sunday?

“‘No word whether the White House will backpedal on its pledge to keep Barack Obama from appearing on the News Corp. network until 2010,’ reports The Wrap.”
Report: ‘Truce’ reached in Fox News-White House war
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/truce-fox-newswhite-house/

Ratings Up During White House “War”
http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/10/27/fox-news-ratings-up-during-white-house-war/31797

<b>Survey: WH v. Fox Flap Got As Much News Coverage As The Swine Flu Last Week<b>
http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/survey-wh-v-fox-flap-got-as/ews

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By Go Right Young Man, October 28, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

DBM,

You could begin your search for which nations believed Iraq held banned weapons by reading the relevant U. N. resolutions between 1992 and 2002.

If you begin there you’ll get a sense of how your focus seems to heavily be on the United States in relation to Iraq, WMD and Terrorism. Not the global view in which events took place.

To be quite honest I’m not sure what else I can add at this time. You appear to have an American-centric, media-centric view of history. Had you ever taken the time to read the U.N. Resolutions and weapons inspectors reports?

I ask this for a reason. You appear to be suggesting that the whole of the U.S. Congress, the whole of the United Nations, two U.S. Presidents and thousands of global intelligence reports were all lies. That’s a HUGE amount of people lying and, you have no evidence to support the theory.

Please, if you would, begin with the U.N. resolutions and inspectors reports. You can also find a great many declassified intelligence reports from around the globe. I fear if the information were to come from me you’ll quickly dismiss it.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 28, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

DBM,

One question: Are you now saying that the “Bush lies” are not Bush lies at all but rather U.S. Government lies? This seems contrary to your original point.

One quick observation: We hold polar differences in our reading of history. I’ll need some time to digest your views.

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By DBM, October 28, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Part 2

Al Qaeda was (and is) much harder to define and much more focused on America as its primary enemy.  Bin Laden had attacked U.S. embassies abroad, U.S. armed forces and had explicitly threatened to do more unless certain demands were met (I believe primarily withdrawal of U.S. forces from Arab lands - especially Saudi Arabia).  For this reason, I recall reading, in the traditional note Clinton left on Bush’s desk at the time of transition he emphasised the threat of Al Qaeda.  It is difficult to find contemporaneous accounts of this and there are plenty of versions of history.  However, this is typical from All Academic Research in 2005: 

“Any Clinton policy advice was suspect. Thus newness and hubris helped to cancel out any benefit of advice derived from the Clinton people. This, would in turn impact policy and affect the tragedy of September 11th. Former president Clinton recalls giving incoming President Bush advice concerning terrorism and security issues with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda at the top of the list. President Bush changed to subject from policy to the nature of the president’s job.”  http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/0/8/9/0/0/p89001_index.html

Leaving Clinton, you listed a whole lot of countries whose intelligence services had arrived at the same conclusions as the Bush administration.  As per the references I gave to the “OSP” I don’t think even the American intelligence services were convinced on this one.  I have tried searching on the specific agencies in other countries to see what advice they were giving.  MI5 (Britain) found too many holes in the evidence.  ASIO (Australia) was not a supporter.  The German BND probably has the most to answer for as the providers of the infamous “Curveball” misinformation (see http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/10/10/iraq.curveball/index.html and http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,542888,00.html for some disturbing reading).  What I can say is that there was plenty of doubt cast on many key elements of misinformation which led most of the world to not support the invasion.  A prime example is the claim that Iraq could strike western targets in “45 minutes” and the “smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud” assertion that Saddam had achieved the ability to deliver nuclear weapons through some of of missle system (and no a SCUD couldn’t do it).  I know this because I was one of those people who couldn’t see enough verifiable truth in the “intelligence”.

I am, however, looking forward to the promised demonstration of a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein ... this important argument in favour of invasion has never to my knowledge been supported by anything credible.  let’s see this evidence.

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By DBM, October 28, 2009 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Ok ... these updates are getting long so there are a few points to discuss.

Part 1

I’m not a huge Clinton fan ... though he slowed the transfer of money from the middle class to the very richest, Clinton also eviscerated Federal welfare, oversaw the disastrous Phil & Wendy Gramm special the “Banking Modernisation Act” and left his successor the dot-com bubble to deal with.  Once Bush made up for lost time in allowing the very rich to extract money from the middle class, the foreseeable outcomes of Clinton’s banking changes hit the middle class hard.  But we are talking foreign policy.

Let’s be careful not to go over points we agree on too much.  I have said that Clinton continued the low-level war against Iraq throughout his presidency and often called Hussein a terrorist as would I.  My quote was “there is no doubt that Clinton also maintained a low level war with Iraq for his entire presidency with fairly regular bombing and an economic blockade.  That was matched by a low level of reporting and parrotting of the reasons given for the actions which included claims regarding WMD.”  Thank you for finding those quotes which support that position.  I think that the claims regarding WMD were exagerated to justify the actions in Iraq.  However, Saddam was a regional player (albeit in a region important to American economic interests because of Oil).  He had never attacked the U.S. directly and was an American “asset” until he invaded Kuwait which pissed off the Saudis and led to the U.S. reversal and the Gulf War.  When he was armed, he was fighting for the Americans (primarily with Iran) and after the Gulf War Iraq was so decimated that it posed little threat apart from the demonstrated willingness to use illegal weapons (in particular the extensive use of poison gas in the Iran Iraq War) against its neighbors.  Clinton did play on these when it suited his agenda but this was a far cry from Al Qaeda.

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By ardee, October 28, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Olbermann and Maddow are open about their editorializing, Fox disguises their own partisan editorials as straight news. They also have been caught, time and again, in complete fabrications.

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By DBM, October 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Time for a quick one ...

I’m not sure why anyone in the administration would be expected to backtrack on saying Fox is biased.  I’m sure if you asked him Keith Olbermann would say that he has no time for neo-cons, their world view and all they stand for.  If a neo-con wanted to call him biased I wouldn’t expect a compulsion to backtrack on it. 

Fox in consistently opposed to anything to do with the Democratic Party unless it is the Dems caving to the Republicans against the wishes of their support base.  This is no crime but there’s no need to pretend it ain’t so.

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By @CT, October 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

“The White House carefully continued its assault on Fox News Tuesday, as a senior White House adviser told CNN’s Campbell Brown that the network was “of course” biased against the Obama administration, but immediately backtracked slightly.”
Jarrett makes, retracts charge Fox is biased
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/10/27/jarrett-makes-retracts-charge-fox-is-biased/

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By DBM, October 27, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Fair enough ... you’ll have to wait for the end of my work day for a response!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

DBM, “Your second point about all those intelligence agencies coming to the same conclusion about Hussein’s ability to harm The West doesn’t ring true either.”

I’m sorry but this is absolutely and demonstrably false. I can prove to you, beyond all doubt, that you have been mislead on this and a few others points you made in your last post, however, let us slow down and take on these issues one at a time. OK?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Can we agree that for the time being we’ll keep the discussion to the WMD lies? I think it’s important to address these so-called lies before we move onto Saddam and the EXHAUSTIVELY documented ties to terrorism and, yes, Al Qaeda.

After the WMD lies I’ll show you what I know regarding what the intelligence communities were collectively sharing with President Clinton regarding links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

OK for now?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

DBM

On February 18, 1998 Secretaries Cohen and Albright and National Security Advisor Berger held a global town hall meeting on the campus of Ohio State University. They noted that Saddam Hussein “possessed weapons of mass destruction”.

Berger declared that “in the 21st century, the community of nations may see more and more of this very kind of threat that Iraq poses now, a rogue state with biological and chemical weapons.”

The “record will show that Saddam Hussein has produced weapons of mass destruction,” Albright stated, “which he’s clearly not collecting for his own personal pleasure, but in order to use them”.  “Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”

At Tennessee State on February 19, Albright told the crowd that the world has not “seen, except maybe since Hitler, somebody who is quite as evil as Saddam Hussein.” In answering a question, she sketched some of the “worse” case scenarios should Saddam “break out of the box that we kept him in.”

One “scenario is that he could in fact somehow use his weapons of mass destruction.”

“Another scenario is that he could kind of become the salesman for weapons of mass destruction—that he could be the place that people come and get more weapons.”

“One of the lessons of history is that if you don’t stop a horrific dictator before he gets started too far—that he can do untold damage.” “If the world had been firmer with Hitler earlier,” said Albright, “then chances are that we might not have needed to send Americans to Europe during the Second World War.”

More on the “BUSH LIES” below…..

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

DBM—“I would suggest though that with few exceptions the American media was pretty much a full-on Bush love-in until about 2006”

I have no doubt that you see it that way. Half the nation would disagree, however. Please keep in mind that your “truth” is not not shared by over a hundred million honest and passionate Americans. All I request is that you keep it in mind.

“I really wish some of those questions (about half of them have validity)”....

Again, keep in mind that half the country will easily, and without equivocation, disagree with you. There are millions who will say none of it is valid. Just as you would strenuously say, and I would agree, that Glenn Beck is wrong!

“I couldn’t find any reference to the quote you mention. It is fairly well documented that Clinton named Osama Bin Laden rather than Saddam Hussein as the biggest terrorist threat when he handed over to Bush.”

Again I have no doubt that you remember it that way. But, I believe, you have conditioned yourself (aided by the elite media) to recall events in that manner .

President Clinton’s dire warning concerning both Al Qaeda and Iraq are exhaustively documented. It’s a mistake to believe President Clinton held Al Qaeda up as a larger threat than Saddam Hussein. Bill Clinton never once mentioned bin Laden as a threat to the entire globe.

If you would? Look up President Clinton’s speech at the Pentagon dated Feb 1998 (two years before Bush). The president’s warnings could not have been more pressing or dire.

“Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he (Saddam) fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will (Bush said the same). He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal”.

On November 15 1997 President Clinton painted a bleak future if nations did not cooperate against “organized forces of destruction,” telling the audience that only a small amount of “nuclear cake put in a bomb would do ten times as much damage as the Oklahoma City bomb did. “Effectively dealing with proliferation and not letting weapons “fall into the wrong hands” is “fundamentally what is stake in the stand off we’re having in Iraq today.”

In Washington, D.C., November 21, 1997 Clinton applauded the return of UNSCOM inspectors that day (after a three week absence) “to proceed with their work without interference, to find, to destroy, to prevent Iraq from rebuilding nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to carry them.” He added: “We must not let our children be exposed to the indiscriminate availability and potential abuse and actual use of the biological and chemical and smaller-scale nuclear weapons which could terrorize the 21st century,”—Does that sound pressing and dire to you? Well, it was to President Clinton and his National Security Staff.

On November 25, the Pentagon released “Proliferation: Threat and Response.”

Sec. Def. Richard Cohen began his press briefing on the Pentagon report described death on a mass scale. “One drop [of VX nerve agent] on your finger will produce death in a matter of just a few moments. Now the UN believes that Saddam may have produced as much as 200 tons of VX, and this would, of course, be theoretically enough to kill every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.”—Do warnings get any more dire than that?

Please look up February 18 1998: SecDef. Cohen, SecSt. Albright and NSA Advisor Berger held a global town hall meeting at Ohio State University. They noted that Saddam Hussein “possessed weapons of mass destruction”.

More…...

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By DBM, October 27, 2009 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

Ok ... our last posts crossed so my previous update doesn’t answer your question.  I would have preferred to leave it at a recognition of your position as per the previous post but I think the question regarding intelligence is an important one.

Firstly regarding Clinton equating Saddam and terrorism; here, I have to knock a common American penchant for defining others only as they relate to you.  This leads to the famously dangerous assumption that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and also the the assumption that all my enemies must be friends with each other.

Iran crossed the U.S. in a big way (you can start with Mossedegh or with Khomeini - either way they made the U.S. Shit List).  It was a big mistake to support Hussein just because he was an enemy of Iran.  It made him a more effective (better armed) monster and that included chemical and biological agents.  Saddam was a monster though and committed numerous acts which I would call terrorism.  The attempt on the life of Bush The Elder certainly evoked that response from Clinton amongst others.  I would cite many other Saddam acts as terrorism as well.

However, there never was any shred of sense in assuming that Hussein and Bin Laden would ever overcome the obvious problem of Saddam being a VERY non-religious secular dictator of a country with deep and important symbolism for Muslims.  I do not think Clinton ever made the claim that Hussein, although a terrorist, was working with Al Qaida.  If he did, he was wrong or lying.

Your second point about all those intelligence agencies coming to the same conclusion about Hussein’s ability to harm The West doesn’t ring true either.  In reports outside the U.S. there was tremendous doubt as to the validity of claims of Iraqi capability to commit violence.  Saddam had to keep up pretences of that capability because he had a long border with Iran with whom he’d just finished a very long very bloody war.

The fact that you were hearing different news from American media to what everyone else was hearing accounted for the overwhelming majorities of people in every other country except I think Israel being against the invasion of Iraq.  Figures like 90% of polled people in the UK, Spain, Australia, Turkey and lots of countries that didn’t take part were against starting the war.  It is hard to get 90% of people polled to agree that water is wet.

The local media outside the U.S. went to their own government and asked about intelligence and found that their own intelligence services did NOT support the assertions that their own goverments were accepting from the Americans.

The governments that went to war with the U.S. (including Great Britain) did so completely against the wishes of their own populations.  It led to a lot of soul-searching and analysis in those countries of the degree to which their governments actually represented the people and the benefits of their relationship with the U.S.

Lastly though, and hopefully back on topic one last time, I saw this quote from you way back in the thread:

“I will say this about FOX News. It’s the only news organization where one can daily see and hear both sides of politics.”

On that point, I cannot agree with you at all.  While there is certainly benefit in saying that one should defend Fox’s right to say what they like, it is outrageous to assert that they are not biased.  You might argue that all news media are biased but to single out Fox as the one that isn’t??  No!

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By DBM, October 27, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

Touche ... not a bad selection of quotes re Bush.  I would suggest though that with few exceptions the American media was pretty much a full-on Bush love-in until about 2006 when DESPITE the positive coverage his approval ratings dropped to dismal levels.  Then the way to ratings and circulation numbers for the media was to jump on the bandwagon and Bash Bush.  There certainly was a couple of years of that which must have amazed W because he hadn’t changed.

I really wish some of those questions (about half of them have validity) HAD been asked in 2002 and 2003 when they could have possibly saved the world a pointless war and a second term of mismanagement (I’m not sure when Olbermann started, he may have been before that ... and he does get childish at times).

I’m not a massive Clinton fan by any stretch but I couldn’t find any reference to the quote you mention.  It is fairly well documented that Clinton named Osama Bin Laden rather than Saddam Hussein as the biggest terrorist threat when he handed over to Bush. 

However, there is no doubt that Clinton also maintained a low level war with Iraq for his entire presidency with fairly regular bombing and an economic blockade.  That was matched by a low level of reporting and parrotting of the reasons given for the actions which included claims regarding WMD.

What I did find though were a lot of fairly desperate attempts to connect Clinton to the idea that Hussein and Al Qaida had some connection (apart from being mortal enemies because one was a violent secular despot and the other a violent religious nutter).  These were all in places like New Republic, The NY Sun, some nutcase blog call The Gateway Pundit.  None of that made it into any reputable sources that I could see.

So look - I can see where you’re coming from.  You’re right, I think some of the quotes you list go too far but I wouldn’t have found the others a problem.  Which gets us back to the topic of Fox News ... are they different and deserving of special treatment?

Well, Bush famously avoided dealing with non-sycophantic reporters.  He went so far as to hire an imposter to ask him the questions he was prepared to answer.  While Obama sat down and interviewed with Bill O’Reilly, I can’t see Bush ever allowing Olbermann an interview ... can you?

Nonetheless, the rest of the media clearly think it is the thin end of a dangerous wedge and have forced the WH to include Fox.  So I say, I can see why the Obama camp would have problems with an outlet that banged on for months about his place of birth and have kept on an idiot who has openly accused Obama of racism against his mother’s side of the family (with the White Supremacy nuts out there that is a dangerous line to cross). 

However, I think they should let them keep feeding their rabid little audience and I’ll keep them on my cable dial right next to the Comedy Channel!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

DBM—- First I apologize for getting your name wrong in the previous post.

I wish to ask this question again in a separate post because I believe it’s important.

Why did Tony Blair and Bill Clinton warn the world about Saddam Hussein, WMD and links to terrorism six years before Bush took office?

Where they both lying? Were they both wrong? Or were they both telling the truth and correct in their assertions?

Food for thought: Why did the French President, who opposed using force in Iraq, tell the word that Saddam Hussein was indeed working on clandestine weapons programs? Why did the United nations pass 14 resolutions from 1992 to 2002 accusing Iraq of failure to disclose banned weapons and fomenting international terrorism?

Why did Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Al Gore, Chris Dodd, Jay Rockefeller, and the majority in Congress all speak clearly and passionately about Iraq’s WMD and threat to the world several years before Bush entered the White House?

Where they all lying? Were they all wrong? Where they all collectively correct in their reading of the intelligence presented to them? Or should we be discussing how 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and the intelligence agencies of Germany, Japan, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Austria, Australia, Poland, Britain and France lied to the U.S. Congress and President Clinton and Tony Blair?

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By Go Right Young Man, October 27, 2009 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

DNB—“My assertion that Fox often lies is not because they do not report what I want but because so much of what they say is demonstrably untrue.  As discussed much earlier in this thread the truly outrageous assertions are often couched as opinions or questions.  However, they are questions of the “When did you stop beating your wife?” variety ... or more specifically “Why can’t you convince me that you were born in Hawaii?”, “Why are you a Socialist?”, “I think this guy hates all white people!” etc.  It is my opinion / observation that they do a lot more of this than any other TV outlet.”

Are these examples of lies or polar differences of opinion and perceptions? They look to me like polar differences.

“Why can’t you convince me you served in the Air National Guard”? “Why are you part of a crime family”? “Why did you murder ten thousand black people in New Orleans”? “Why is Cheney running the government”? “Why is everyone in your administration criminals”? “Why did you bring down the Twin Towers and blow up the Pentagon”? “Why did you lie to take the world to war to enrich your friends and family”? “Why did you steal two elections?

Did you spend any time watching Olberman during the Bush years? Was MSNBC lying or simply being stupid when Olberman ran the daily rant “BUSHED”? Where MSNBC blamed Bush directly for every poorly run agency in and outside the U.S. government?

What you see in FOX News are the same types of things half the nation saw and noted in most of the other news organizations. My opinion is that you took little notice of the above items because you actually liked and/or agreed with them. But you appear to be ignoring half the nation which see things differently. Or, and this seems likely, you simply couldn’t stand George Bush thus making all of the above acceptable.

Iraq.

Why did President Clinton speak of Saddam Hussein as the best example of a threat to the United States and world peace? Why did President Clinton tell the world that “all roads to international terrorism run through Baghdad”? Why did Tony Blair stand next to Bill Clinton when he said of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq..“I guarantee you, one day, in some way, he will use those weapons”?

Why did Tony Blair and Bill Clinton warn the world about Saddam Hussein, WMD and links to terrorism six years before Bush took office?

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By DBM, October 27, 2009 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the reply ... I do value a considered opinion from someone I disagree with.  It was brought home to me a few years ago when I met an old friend who was extremely smart, successful, in a position to be very well-informed and a thoroughly decent person.  That I was amazed to find that a person like this could be an arch-conservative I take as an indication of my own prejudice!  Confessions aside:

I do believe what I write.  My assertion that Fox often lies is not because they do not report what I want but because so much of what they say is demonstrably untrue.  As discussed much earlier in this thread the truly outrageous assertions are often couched as opinions or questions.  However, they are questions of the “When did you stop beating your wife?” variety ... or more specifically “Why can’t you convince me that you were born in Hawaii?”, “Why are you a Socialist?”, “I think this guy hates all white people!” etc.  It is my opinion / observation that they do a lot more of this than any other TV outlet (there are of course radio, internet and print media who do the same and worse).

With respect to intelligence prior to the Iraq invasion in 2003, I suggest you Google
“faulty intelligence iraq osp”
and have a look at some of the results.  Ignore the sources you don’t trust, there will be plenty you probably do.  One interesting one (because it’s good to keep in mind what the rest of the world think) comes from the Asia Times in 2005 and has the following in its conclusion:

“So, all in all, the American political establishment, with the comfortable solidarity of much of its media, has yet again brought the nation to a point where it appears to be lost in the haze of its own propaganda, and it is incredibly difficult -for even the educated of the US - to distinguish between truth and falsity.”

As someone outside the American media terrarium in 2003, let me assure you that it looked for all the world like your government set out to fool enough of its own people to get support for a desired military action.  I don’t blame you, the American people, though ... they’re very good at it!

Similarly, it is very hard (against human nature almost) to admit to having been fooled.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

Excuse my many typos and missing words below. Typing tonight on a small hand held.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

I think it’s fair to say we arrive at our conclusions in much different ways.

First: Are you lying or do you believe in what you write?

I think it’s wrong to suggest that FOX News is somehow lying because they fail to report as you would like. That would be like me telling you that NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times all lie because they fail to report current events as I wish them to. Excuse my frankness but it appears exceedingly arrogant and shuts out other points of view. You seem not to allow anyone to disagree if you label every other point of view a lie.

Second: Leaving the media put of the equation completely I know for a fact that Germany, Japan, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Austria, Australia, Poland, Britain, France and U.S. intelligence all reported that Iraq had failed to disclose and disarm after surrendering to the U.N. after Gulf War I. That is a fact beyond dispute. There are 14 U.N. resolutions dating over a decade that support what I write. Zerlo news media involved.

With all you’ve written I have a simply question: Why was P.M. Blair and President Clinton warning the world about Saddam Hussein, WMD and links to terrorism every year for six years before President Bush took office?

I look forward to the discourse, however, I think we should begin with that question before the conversation continues.

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By DBM, October 26, 2009 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

It may be out of context here as we’re talking about Fox News but you did raise the Iraq War protests (which preceded the invasion) as an example of other media inciting protest.  I think the central lie responsible for the invasion of Iraq is irrefutable.  Because he operates in a parliamentary system where he has to answer questions directly Tony Blair probably put it most clearly:

When asked “Do you KNOW that Saddam has WMD and plans to use them?”, he replied (to paraphrase) “I cannot tell you how I know because it is a secret, but I KNOW that this is true.”

As no further evidence that was not available in the public domain at that time has ever come to light, there are two interpretations of this that make sense to me:
1.  Blair, Bush, Cheney et. al. were lying through their teeth.
2.  The secret was torture.
Neither is forgiveable given the monumental catastrophe that was initiated as a result.

BTW - A very common lie in the media as things unravelled:  “All Western intelligence agencies agreed…” about the WMD etc.  Simply untrue.  The American intelligence agencies were not even agreed.  Only Cheney’s OSP cherry picking supporting material while ignoring contradictory evidence came to the conclusion that the war was justified. 

The reason “Old Europe” and the vast majority of populations outside the reach of saturation American media did not believe the lies is that there was plenty of intelligence freely available to the contrary.

So, on one thing we are agreed; we should all doubt what we hear and check up on it.  On the matter of whether Fox is a special case in the extent to which they are blatant liars, I think we will have to agree to disagree. 

In context of my world view (what I “know” to be true), a lot of what is said on Fox is clearly untrue on its face.  With your world view maybe you hear other news outlets the same way.

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By DBM, October 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad you added that ... I thought you were asking Ardee what sort of idiot I am when I thought we were having a conversation about facts!

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By Go Right Young Man, October 26, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Feel free to press me on my facts any time. Regardless of the idiot, ardee, I’m honest and frank in my opinions. It’s truly stupid -beyond stupid actually- to believe anyone who holds a different point of view must be lying. I can’t imagine how small that world must be.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 26, 2009 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

DBM,

“What Fox has done this year is completely clear. They created from nothing a series of protests which wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

FIRST. I’m not a big fan of FOX News or any other cable news network! I need to make that point clear.

—Yes, without a doubt, FOX has fed protesters resolve. But I think you make a mistake in judgment, a judgment fed by the elite media, in believing the protests were created by FOX. Anytime tens of thousand of people turn out to protest it’s legitimate. You wish to point to FOX News only as a single culprit. I disagree.

I disagree completely with the flawed premise that the removal of Saddam Hussein was based on lies. Regardless of what we’ve all heard, again from the elite media, about the lies regarding Iraq, it’s impossible to argue that two U.S. Presidents said the exact same things about Saddam Hussein, WMD and terrorism but, ONLY ONE LIED? I believe it’s a foolish and short-sighted argument. We will simply agree to disagree.

Homelessness

I think you missed my point. I was not making an argument about the numbers of homeless in the 70’s compared to the 80’s. If you go back and read what I wrote you’ll see that I was addressing the issue of homelessness as reported in the media. Homelessness in the late 70’s was, at that time, a modern day high BUT, no reports of homelessness appeared in the media until Reagan’s reelection. And the reporting on the homeless was dropped during Clinton’s reelection and again during the Gore/Bush election of 2000. Is it feasible to assume that homelessness is only a problem when a republican holds office? I’m sure we’ll agree that cannot be the case.

In conclusion: You see FOX News in the way millions of Americans (half the country) have seen the bulk of the elite “news media” for decades. You may not have seen it due to your political points of view. You may believe the bulk of the news is mainstream. But you would be ignoring what half the country sees.

What’s the story behind this idiot, ardee? Why is everything he disagrees with a lie? I was under the impression that this is place for adult conversation.

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By DBM, October 26, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

Perhaps so Ardee,

But I am interested nonetheless to hear these two Right-Wingers defence of Fox when pressed for facts.

Taking simply the egregious example of actively creating a disruptive protest and then pretending on air that the small numbers involved represent some sort of great consensus makes it clear that what Fox is doing is unique.  They are clearly not just reporting news and expressing opinion.

If there are no equivalent actions by other organisations then there is a valid argument for Fox getting special treatment.

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By ardee, October 26, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

DBM,

A lie, tightly concealed within some truths, is the standard fare of the right wing.

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By DBM, October 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the reply Go Right,

Let me make a response in two parts.  First you say:

“The three major broadcast news networks, along with MSNBC, all supported and fomented a great deal of the anti-war protests after entering Iraq in 2003. It wasn’t as clear to the critics of the day but EXTREMELY obvious to supporters”

What Fox has done this year is completely clear.  They created from nothing a series of protests which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. 

In 2003 there were millions of people worldwide (most not watching U.S. news at all) who protested the Iraqi War based on the lack of publically available proof that there was justification for the war.  Subsequent events showed that this doubt was well-founded as the reasons given were lies and/or based on spurious information gained from torture (which was why its sources were not made public). 

How the media “fomented” this, apart from failing to publish information which didn’t exist, is not at all obvious as you say.  How they fomented protest around the world in places where do not even reach is equally less than obvious.

I would suggest that “supporters” (of the war I presume you mean?) must have been wishing that the media would spread the lies.  To the extent that they didn’t, I suppose they were guilty of contributing to some of the domestic protest.  That’s not really equivalent to the Tea Bag carry-on.

Secondly, you state that:

“...the economy was in a shambles in the late 70’s we were not inundated with stories of the homeless during the Carter years (homelessness was at an all time high in 1978-79)”

Now, I’ll admit to my own bias.  It think that for most people (and certainly those in danger of homelessness) the economy has been getting progressively worse ever since 1978-79 so that seemed like a strange statistic.  I always feel that with the Internet we should never die wondering about anything so I went looking for the numbers you reference.

All measures of homelessness are prefaced with the caveat that they are difficult to define and to count(almost by definition).  However, the consensus of sources seem to indicate that there was an increase of homelessness (which had been low since the Depression years) in the late 70’s possibly due to “de-institutionalisation” of the mentally ill.  However, homelessness increased dramatically in the 1980’s due to reduced social services and job cuts.  An attempt to address this was made in the 1986 with the McKinney Act but for the last 20 years homelessness has been increasing and is currently at the highest levels ever.  In fact, a new class of homeless appeared in the last decade:  The fully-employed homeless.  That is, people working 40 hrs a week who cannot put their families into any kind of shelter without charity.

You can name your own reasons for the increase in poverty and homelessness but you cannot claim that it was worse under Jimmy Carter no matter how much you might want it to be so ... It has been the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush years that have seen huge increases ... and Yes, they’ve continued to rise since January.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 25, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

DBM asks: “the question I asked was if there was another case of a media outlet creating or promoting a protest action in the U.S.”


Oh Yes! The three major broadcast news networks, along with MSNBC, all supported and fomented a great deal of the anti-war protests after entering Iraq in 2003. It wasn’t as clear to the critics of the day but EXTREMELY obvious to supporters. You may not have seen it but, I assure you, half the nation sure did.

During Reagan’s reelection bid NBC, CBS, and ABC all ran countless stories of the homeless in America. They each ran the same stories during the Bush 41/Clinton race. Oddly enough we didn’t see stories of the homeless during Clinton’s reelection but, they returned, with the added homeless Am. Vets., upon Bush 43’s reelection bid.

Although the economy was in a shambles in the late 70’s we were not inundated with stories of the homeless during the Carter years (homelessness was at an all time high in 1978-79).

Poll after poll clearly show that 80% of journalists and editors in America are self proclaimed democrats. It’s human nature to support one’s own agenda. FOX is certainly not unique in this.

Need more evidence of agenda driven media? Look at the Obama campaign. Nobody truly paying attention believes the “news media” was fair to Hillary Clinton during the primaries. There are solid reasons why MSNBC is commonly referred to as the Obama network. Olberman called people to protest President Bush on a daily basis.

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By DBM, October 25, 2009 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

BTW - while I think Cheney would be in jail given a fair and open trial, I wouldn’t wish epilepsy on his children or grandchildren.

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By DBM, October 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

I hear the both of you ... and I know it’s difficult to hear points of view which don’t fit your world view.  It’s annoying to see puff-pieces about people you don’t respect (spare ME the Cheneys).

But the question I asked was if there was another case of a media outlet creating or promoting a protest action in the U.S.  Fox did this with the Tea Bag events and the Town Halls in August.  I’m not aware of another equivalent case but if you have one I’m interested. 

If you don’t, your arguments that Fox is just like other news outlets but not “leftish” doesn’t hold water.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

DBM, October 24 at 7:12 pm #

“Fox is the only media outlet which fovents political action on behalf a political party.”

Question: Are you watching MSNBC? I think there’s a solid reason why that news organization is referred to as the Obama Network. Have you watched any of the three major networks? They’ve been doing the same for decades.

It’s wrong on all accounts. But to believe the issue is about FOX seems narrow in focus.

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By @CT, October 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

DBM writes:
“Fox is the only media outlet which fo[m]ents political action on behalf a political party.”

Suuure it is. And fomenting misplaced saccharine sympathy for Oblabla’s handlers, by replaying the flim-flams of February, is news we can use.

(pssst: it’s all for nothing—by the middle of next week, the sweet liberals will have read that the presidential puppy’s birthday cake was . . . VEAL. Veal, for G-d’s sake, innocent baby cows force-fed in crates:

“The first lady said the presidential pooch celebrated his first birthday earlier this month with a Rose Garden party. Bo, a Portuguese water dog, feasted on a cake shaped like a dog house that was made out of VEAL [emphasis added].
“We had a really sweet celebration,” the first lady told Leno. “We had party hats.”

Love-love lost: Hubby’s tennis game annoys her, Michelle Obama tells Leno
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091024/entertainment/us_michelle_obama_leno )

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By DBM, October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Well, if that’s it ... then Fox is the only media outlet which fovents political action on behalf a political party.

That would seem a pretty good reason for a rational White House to call them out on it.

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By @CT, October 24, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

DBM writes:
“I don’t quite see the equivalence between political activisim and attempts to raise money to cure epilepsy.”

Yeah, David Axelrod is famously selfless. The leftish media’s replay of the Axelrod “epilepsy” saga has all the self-interested charm of the thrilling flight of Balloon Boy.

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By DBM, October 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

I don’t quite see the equivalence between political activisim and attempts to raise money to cure epilepsy.

I’m surprised as I expected there would be some example of media rabble-rousing other than Fox which I was not aware of.

Is that it?

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By @CT, October 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

DBM writes:
“I’ve never heard of a CBS producer whooping and revving up a crowd for the cameras.”

Well, they ARE moving to drum up some sympathy for the Obama Org’s Axelrod. Remember back in February—less than a year ago, for heaven’s sake!—when Parade magazine did a cover story on the Axelrods’  adult child who has a seizure disorder, and on the Axelrods’ starting their own non-profit (separate from long-established epilepsy organizations) to “cure epilepsy”, followed by an NBC feature thereon?

Less than a year later, they’re running the SAME thing again—only this time, it’s Huffington Post and CBS.

It seems sort of desperate, in that last time around, the Parade article quoted Mrs. Axelrod, revealing how the child’s “epilepsy” came about, an account which is enough to give the shivers to anybody who’s ever sat up with a “congested” baby, instead of “knocking it out” with drugs:

“The baby was so congested, it was impossible for her to sleep. Our pediatrician said to give her one-quarter of an adult dose of a cold medication, and it knocked her out immediately. I didn’t hear from Lauren the rest of the night.  In the morning, I found her gray and limp in her crib. I thought she was dead.
“In shock, I picked her up, and she went into a seizure—arms extended, eyes rolling back in her head. I realized she’d most likely been having
seizures all night long.”

It’s a head-scratcher. And so is Emanuel’s going to speak to the Chamber of Commerce. Obama claims he’s not “losing any sleep” over His failure with Fox, but He’s been known to er misspeak.

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By DBM, October 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Ummmm @CT & Go Right,

If all the media outlets are as bad as each other and and they’re all totally biased except Fox ... how come no other “news organisation” has ever drummed up a Tea Bag style protest? 

I’ve never heard of a CBS producer whooping and revving up a crowd for the cameras.  I’ve never really heard any news outlet praise a protester of any ilk (in the U.S.) until I heard the Fox News descriptions of the Tea Baggers. 

I say “in the U.S.” because protests in Iran are lauded.  Protests in Burma a lauded ... etc.  But can you think of an American protest that had media backing (let alone organising) apart from the Tea Baggers?  I’d through the Town Hall disruptions in with Tea Bagging ... same people I expect.

Hey ... just an observation.

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By ardee, October 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

and I repeat:

ardee, October 22 at 12:01 am #

Go Right Young Man, October 21 at 9:44 am

Interesting that you do exactly what you accuse me of doing….You certainly are the weakest link..Get lost little boy, at least until you grow up.

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By @CT, October 24, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man comment to ardee:
“You MUST be lying. If you were telling the truth you’d agree with ME…..LOL…See how that backward logic works?”

from the Toronto Star:
“The strong-arm tactic failed when the Washington bureau chiefs of CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS, in a rare moment of journalistic solidarity, rallied to Fox’s defence, forcing the White House to relent.”

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By Go Right Young Man, October 24, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

ardee,

I don’t agree with a single word you’ve written. Using your logic that makes you one of the biggest liars and propagandist on TD.

You MUST be lying. If you were telling the truth you’d agree with ME…..LOL…See how that backward logic works?

Idiot!

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By ardee, October 24, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, October 23 at 8:10 am

I apologize for the unfortunate choice of phrase…I am certain you understood the meaning and that no intent to demean was present.

I do not listen to Beck for any length of time, weak stomach.I only read occasionally the reports of his self serving positions , sound bites and all that. I am unaware of Beck’s criticisms of Bush, can you cite any links to such?

That Beck chooses to aim his bile at this one or that one is not a justification for that bile. The fact of the matter is that Fox disguises political ideologies as hard news is the real problem. That other such ‘news outlets’ may or may not do it as well, and that is a matter of nuance, personal belief and just how much is acceptable, is moot. Fox is far and away the leader in propagandizing news, misleading an ignorant public and dishonoring the term “free press”, at least in my opinion.

I am certainly fine with free speech, but I am far from fine with this attempt to use the privilege to lie. State that you are editorializing when you are doing so.

Now I have steelhead to clean…..

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By ardee, October 24, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

It’s somewhat interesting, meanwhile, that MSNBC’s Olberman seems to have backed off on bashing FOX commentator Bill O’Reilly.
*************************************

I doubt Olbermann’s opinions have changed, but his show is topical and not stuck in such a rut. I suspect that he will bash O’Reilly as often as O’Reilly needs bashing.

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By @CT, October 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

“How would you explain the unhinged hatred the liberal set hold for FOX News?”

The Obama Org isn’t “liberal”—however much they pander to “gays” when it suits their political purpose, and however swish Der Won Himself increasingly appears—but fascist.

FOX, however much some of its commentators pander to parts of the non-Obama (i.e., working class) “right”, is off the Chicago Org’s reservation on WHAT the “news” is—rather than having contrary takes ON the “news”—is my guess.

It’s somewhat interesting, meanwhile, that MSNBC’s Olberman seems to have backed off on bashing FOX commentator Bill O’Reilly.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 23, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

@CT,

How would you explain the unhinged hatred the liberal set hold for FOX News? I’m curious to know what you think.

While I say again I am no fan of the cable news networks I firmly believe the “liberal” mind can’t stand opposing points of view. FOX is the only programming on cable that doesn’t lean left. FOX is universally hated by the left for this sole reason.

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By @CT, October 23, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man writes:
” ... I will say this about FOX News. It’s the only news organization where one can daily see and hear both sides of politics. The Olbermann and Maddow programs on the N\DNC/Obama network almost never air an opposing point of view. PMSNBC is nothing but a group of like minded journalists playing to each other.

Everybody who actually watches television knows this statement is true.

I had never watched Fox at all, until during the primaries, when NBC and CNN—which, lest we forget, is the media entity most responsible for scuttling the campaign of Dr. Dean, in favor of right-lite soldier cultist John Kerry, who after throwing the 2004 election went on to inflict Obama on the former Democrats—became ... unbearable.
(I had been a great fan of Keith Olberman, and still regard his groupie-fication—and later, the awful transformation of Rachel Maddow into a simpering gang girl for the Obama Org—as a sad thing. The excess of disinformation and personality-cult prattle from Matthews, and from the always-truly-creepy Jonathan Alter and Eugene Robinson, was no surprise, but ... )

(Meanwhile, some TruthDig link is now set such that in order to comment here, one must log in here through Ear to the Ground archives on the main page. Something there is that would prefer to bury discussion of the Oblabla Org’s bumbling, crypto-Stalinist media seizure . . . )

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By Go Right Young Man, October 23, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Combine the prime time ratings of CNN, the Obama network (PMSNBC), and HNN and the total still won’t reach the ratings of the Glenn Beck program at 5:00p (2:00p on the east coast). I find that hilarious and I’m not even fan of FOX.

Apparently TD readers don’t understand how marginalized and, thank God, insignificant they are.

I will say this about FOX News. It’s the only news organization where one can daily see and hear both sides of politics. The Olbermann and Maddow programs on the N\DNC/Obama network almost never air an opposing point of view. PMSNBC is nothing but a group of like minded journalists playing to each other.

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By DaveZx3, October 23, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

ardee,

I am not pretending stupidity, I have no reason to pretend, I have plenty of stupidity in the real world.  Ever since Maher called me stupid, I have decided to agree with him. 

Beck crucified Bush when he was in office.  I think he would be a foil to any president.  How else can he get ratings?  He is a show which needs to keep ratings up.  He sits around at night praying that someone like Anita Dunn would say “my favorite philospher is Mao” or David and Rahm would go out and declare a war on him and Fox.  He lives for that stuff, you can tell. He is like Letterman who crucifies everybody, including himself. 

The question is whether or not he takes himself serious.  If he does it adds some legitimacy to his opinions, if he doesn’t, then he is a pure show.

Either way, I am no threatened.  He says himself, “challenge all things, question with boldness”, so I apply that to everything he says.

ardee, do not take the “show” serious or it will eat you up.  Do your own research, don’t take anyone’s word for anything.

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By ardee, October 23, 2009 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

I thought Glen Beck was a comedy show.  I laugh like hell watching that one.  I thought when you were doing comedy you could say whatever you want, kind of like Bill Maher or Letterman or somebody.

O’Reilly is not quite as enjoyable, but still very entertaining from an entertainment viewpoint.  I love his pinheads and patriots.

Dave pretends to stupidity, but we should not be fooled. What he finds “humorous” others find as truth, and he knows this I strongly believe.

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By DBM, October 22, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

The alarming thing is that with 24 hours to fill, the news channels seem to focus on “the story du jour” almost exclusively instead of doing any sort of investigative journalism.  You’re right of course Zx3, it is all about the show and the ratings, not the news. 

I found this indictment of news coverage fascinating:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/alisa_miller_shares_the_news_about_the_news.html

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By DaveZx3, October 22, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, October 22 at 12:11 pm #

“The very fact that Fox has such as Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly should place some seed of doubt in your mind regarding your defense of that network.”

I thought Glen Beck was a comedy show.  I laugh like hell watching that one.  I thought when you were doing comedy you could say whatever you want, kind of like Bill Maher or Letterman or somebody. 

O’Reilly is not quite as enjoyable, but still very entertaining from an entertainment viewpoint.  I love his pinheads and patriots.  And also culture warriors.  I notice they always zoom out and keep the ladies on the outside with their above the knee skirts on.  That’s how you know it is not about news, but ratings and entertainment.  If you want to see the future of cable news, stay up late and watch the “red eye” show, (can’t remember the exact name of it)  That is where its heading, just can’t do it on prime time yet. 

I guess the sad part is that the news and commentary shows are getting more entertaining than the entertainment shows now. 

But I am going to agree somewhat with DBM in that watching the news can be irritating.  You hear the same story over and over and over.  I mean how many times can they say the same thing?  Over and over and over. 

The news is all obnoxious now, because we have news channels with nothing but the news, 24 hours a day.  They have to get ratings, so they resort to something other than news which is catering to their audience.  Really, nothing that important happens 90% of the time that couldn’t be put into a 30 minute show at 6PM.  Say it with a straight face and be done with it.  Ala Edward R. Murrow, if anyone remembers him.  He was probaly biased to, I just did not recognize it back then. 

And, besides, ardee, I was not really defending Fox as much as I was saying the whole news system is bullshit, its just a matter of whether you want to listen to a leftie lie or a rightie lie.  They are all like the politicians, sold to the highest bidder.  I just say, know it and protect yourself from it by acting accordingly, but in any case, don’t lose sleep over it.

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By DBM, October 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa:  “I have not watched Fox News for some time now.”

Interestingly I used to enjoy Fox News on my cable right there next to the Comedy Channel.  I found their bizarro twisted characterisation of the world like a dark comedy.  Dark because it was scaring the sh*t out of a lot of people with false alarmism.

I too haven’t been able to watch for years.  Not because I disagree with their bias, I enjoy that, but because it really is “News for the hard-of-thinking”.  Every provocative headline repeated 7 times at 20 seconds each followed by a 30 second “news item” which shows the provocative headline (“Is Obama setting up Death Camps for conservatives?”) to be a non-event.

I really don’t know how people do it whether they believe the BS or not ...

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By elisalouisa, October 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Team Obama’s challenge to Fox news shows me there is hope for the Obama
Presidency. I have not watched Fox news for sometime now. It is not just what
they say, it is the shrill, tense manner it comes across.Thank you President Obama for challenging this strong news outlet. You have also challenged the money boys and their bonuses. Sock it to ‘em, don’t cave in on either issue.

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By ardee, October 22, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, October 22 at 10:46 am #

You are incorrect in two assumptions.

One, that I ever said, or even believe, that lies and distortions are the purview of the right. You asked , once again, for proof of Faux’s lies and I gave one such link, to ten of them in fact. You then went off on a tangent dismissing those examples though you first asked for them. What game is this?

Secondly you diminish the extent of the lies and distortions of that network when compared to the bias shown by other media outlets. Fox is far and away the worst. One should be obligated to plainly distinguish editorial from reportage, Fox certainly does not, inserting opinion as fact , again and again. The very fact that Fox has such as Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly should place some seed of doubt in your mind regarding your defense of that network.

A couple of other sources:

http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=945

Pew Research notes that Fox has 19% of those who get their news from TV, 29% of those being Democrats.

One persons opinion of Fox:

http://www.newshounds.us/2009/02/20/lest_there_be_any_doubts_about_fox_news_demographics.php

Our media is certainly wanting, in veracity as well as in investigative reporting. One who considers himself to be a good citizen should stand up against this reality, the loss of a free press is a harbinger of the loss of democracy itself.

Yet I find, in your posts, a sort of diminishing of the culpability of Fox, in an attempt to whitewash their sins by saying they are not alone in doing so. So freaking what? They are certainly, far and away, the leader in this category.

As to the statements of that White House official disparaging Fox, I find that , unless a proposed legislative ban on them is offered, it is an exercise in free speech. One might recall, during the Bush years, a constant barrage against the so-called “liberal media”. How , I wonder, is this current example any different.

Methinks thou doth protesteth overmuch and in a rather slanted way. But of course I speak only for myself.

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By DaveZx3, October 22, 2009 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

By ardee, October 22 at 12:01 am #

“You ask for proof then diminish it..Why then ask in the first place? Faux Snooze is devious, agendized beyond belief, posts propaganda as news and insists ,as do the several right wing clowns , two of whom posted here, that their own shit doesnt stink…I certainly expect better from you than that moron ‘too right to be believed, and too young to know better’ and ‘@propaganda R us’.....”

ardee, 

I am not diminishing your input or diminishing your opinion, and if I did, it was not meant.  Everyone is allowed their opinion in this country.  It is what makes us great.  We really do have to quit devouring each other though, because that is what weakens us, both internally and to the rest of the world

However, I disagree with your opinions.  I disagree with anyone who says their side does not propagandize and lie and the other side does.  I have been around for a long, long time.  I have been involved in the process of covering up high level distortions and lies, such as air-brushing evidence, shredding documents, etc.  Believe me, everyone lies, distorts, misleads and worse to accomplish their agenda. 

At some point in this country, we have come to believe that a high-level extreme agenda is so important that it has to be carried out, no matter what.  Some believe the American people are too stupid to understand the importance of the agenda, and therefore anyone who questions it is ridiculed or destroyed.  The effort and ridiculing and destroying has filtered down to the citizenry and carried out in the various posts we see in these threads. 

The whole process is absolutely insane beyond any shread of belief.  I defend Fox because their bias and distortion to the right is no worse, if not a lot, lot more tame, than the bias and distortion I have seen other media players exhibit over the years. 

Fox does not rise to the level of some extra-special deviant force that needs to be eradicated in order to carry out the super secret, super important agenda. 

The people decide in a Republican Democracy, then they elect officials to carry it out.  The people are speaking by watching Fox, and that is good enough for me.  They get the most balance viewership of any news outlet.  Last figures I saw show their viewership as such:  Republican 39%  Democrat 33% and Independent 22%. There is no other network with that balanced a viewership, and there is no other network with the ratings numbers of Fox either. 

So, any complaints against Fox are really an indictment of the American population, like saying Americans are too stupid to recognize they are being duped with lies.  It does not make sense. 

If there is a case against Fox, it should be addressed to the FCC or some pertinent legal body and go through the process with evidence and witnesses produced in a legal manner. 

I am ashamed of a WH that sends their top guns out to their pet news media to chastise another member of the news media.  That is way, way, way out of bounds, no matter how it is sliced.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 22, 2009 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

ardee stated: “Interesting that you do exactly what you accuse me of doing…”

I wrote that you’re a liar for simply having a different point of view? Apparently you also suffer a reading comprehension problem…..LOL

Your sort are a dime a dozen.

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